Trichomoniasis is a disease that occurs in pigeons and doves…as well as in the birds who feed upon them. This especially includes urban Cooper’s Hawks and occasionally others such as Goshawks and, I would assume, Peregrine Falcons. This disease apparently does not trouble adult birds, but as many as 40% of young Cooper’s Hawks die from this disease!
Trich is spread in urban areas during the summer when water is limited and birds concentrate to drink. When diseased doves and pigeons drink at a water source, infected material washes from their mouths out into the water. It is a good idea to add a few drops of bleach to a birdbath regularly, or to empty, clean and sun-dry your birdbaths at least once a week.
Please click here to hear Prof. Bill Mannan of University of AZ give an excellent, short presentation of his and his students work regarding urban Cooper’s Hawks for the past several decades. It’s very interesting and quite well done.
I am curious as to whether something like this product would be a good thing? Would it work better than plain ol’ bleach? I recently read about another…but for the life of me I cannot recall the name. Has anybody experience with such additives?
I appreciate Bosque Bill for bringing this really interesting and important study to my attention. I’ve got a large bird bath which fills with snow that I’ve noticed pigeons drinking from on warm afternoons. I’ve been ignoring the thing way out in the middle of my yard (this time of year under a couple feet of snow) and generally frozen solid, as I provide fresh, clean water daily, in a smaller dish…closer to my back door. I plan to remedy the situation before I kill any young hawks!
I look forward to your comments and hope the information encourages folks to keep those feeders and bird baths clean.
Photos from Wikipedia.