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Health

Salmonella outbreak killing songbirds in NorCal, Bay Area – KCRA Sacramento

Songbirds across the state are being killed from a salmonella-related outbreak, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which said it is inundated with calls reporting sick or dead birds near their feeders. The outbreak, which began December 2020, is mainly affecting American goldfinches and pine siskins from California’s central coast, the Bay Area and several regions throughout the Sierra, the department said in a release.The department said its wildlife investigations laboratory has since evaluated the dead birds and determined the cause of illness to be salmonellosis, a deadly disease caused by the bacteria salmonella. Krysta Rogers, a senior environmental scientist with the department, said it’s important to inform residents of the outbreak. Birds that contract the infection die within 24 hours of getting it.”Our lab documents Salmonellosis outbreaks periodically during the winter in pine siskins,” Rogers said. “The previous large outbreak occurred between December 2015 and March 2016.” Rogers said birds become infected with salmonella when they ingest food, water or come into contact with objects — bird feeders included — contaminated with fecal matter from an infected bird.Rogers recommends all residents take down their feeders if they receive pine siskins and American goldfinches at their feeders or on their property. Pictures and information on these specific birds can be found on the department’s website. The department said the current outbreak has reached the Sacramento area and has been documented in the following counties: Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Calaveras, Tuolumne and El Dorado. If dead birds are found on your property, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages you to contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center.

Songbirds across the state are being killed from a salmonella-related outbreak, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which said it is inundated with calls reporting sick or dead birds near their feeders.

The outbreak, which began December 2020, is mainly affecting American goldfinches and pine siskins from California’s central coast, the Bay Area and several regions throughout the Sierra, the department said in a release.

The department said its wildlife investigations laboratory has since evaluated the dead birds and determined the cause of illness to be salmonellosis, a deadly disease caused by the bacteria salmonella.

Krysta Rogers, a senior environmental scientist with the department, said it’s important to inform residents of the outbreak. Birds that contract the infection die within 24 hours of getting it.

“Our lab documents Salmonellosis outbreaks periodically during the winter in pine siskins,” Rogers said. “The previous large outbreak occurred between December 2015 and March 2016.”

Rogers said birds become infected with salmonella when they ingest food, water or come into contact with objects — bird feeders included — contaminated with fecal matter from an infected bird.

Rogers recommends all residents take down their feeders if they receive pine siskins and American goldfinches at their feeders or on their property. Pictures and information on these specific birds can be found on the department’s website.

The department said the current outbreak has reached the Sacramento area and has been documented in the following counties: Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Calaveras, Tuolumne and El Dorado.

If dead birds are found on your property, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages you to contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center.

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