what kind of diseases do birds carry

Avian Conjunctivitis (House Finch Disease)

Because House Finches account for the majority of its victims, this disease is also known as “House Finch Disease.” Infected birds’ eyes appear crusty, swollen, or runny; in rare instances, the swelling is so bad that the eyes close. While some sick birds recover, a large number perish from starvation, exposure, or predators. Other finch species can also become infected with this disease.

Certain types of mites and lice feed on the feathers and skin of birds, while others draw blood. A nest heavily infested with feather mites may cause the parents to abandon the eggs or young, while large numbers of blood-sucking mites can cause anemia and death in young birds.

Although they cannot survive for very long without an avian host, bird mites can enter buildings and cause discomfort to both people and animals. You can get rid of mites by vacuuming, applying sticky tape, or cleaning mites with a moist, soapy cloth.

On rare occasions, birds will appear without any feathers on their heads, particularly Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays. This gives the birds a pin-headed appearance, which is particularly concerning in black-skinned cardinals. Feather mites or lice cannot be ruled out, but an unusual molt is the most likely cause of this. The feathers will eventually grow back normally.

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ABSTRACTAlthough many people these days actually work very hard at leisure time activities, diseases are most commonly acquired from birds during the course of work in the usual sense of the term, not leisure. However, travel for pleasure to areas where the diseases are highly endemic puts people at risk of acquiring some of these bird-related diseases (for example, histoplasmosis and arbovirus infections), as does ownership of birds as pets (psittacosis).

Natural reservoir(s) Disease Illness(es) in: Mode(s) of spread
Birds Humans
Group 1
Birds Psittacosis Intestinal, respiratory Respiratory Aerosolized bird feces
Domestic and wild fowl Newcastle disease Respiratory, neurological Conjunctivitis Aerosols, contaminated hands
Influenza Respiratory, intestinal, neurological Respiratory Aerosols, droplets, contaminated hands
Domestic and wild turkeys Yersiniosis Intestinal Intestinal Contaminated food
Group 2
Domestic and wild birds Mite infestation None Pruritic rash Indirect and direct contact
Domestic fowl Salmonellosis None Diarrhea Contaminated food
Group 3
Domestic and wild birds Arbovirus infections None Encephalitis, polyarthritis, rash Insect vector
Group 4
Soil fertilized by bird or bat droppings Histoplasmosis None Respiratory Aerosols
Bird droppings Cryptococcosis None Respiratory, neurological Aerosols


What disease can humans get from birds?

Psittacosis (also known as ornithosis) is a disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci, carried by birds. Humans most commonly catch the disease by inhaling dust containing feathers, secretions and droppings from infected birds.

Which bird carries most diseases?

Here’s the one important aspect that many don’t think about—bird feces and feathers are a major source of diseases. The main species that carry the most diseases are sparrows, pigeons, gulls or egrets, and starlings.

Do birds carry airborne diseases?

Source of infection Transmission among birds occurs by aerosol inhalation, the ingestion of secretions, especially feces, of an infected bird, or contact with contaminated water, feed, implements, premises, or human clothing.