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Sick birds prompt removal of bird feeders at Richmond park

A sick finch rescued from Richmond Nature Park passed away, but the city said there's no indication of avian flu.

The bird baths and birdseed feeders at Richmond Nature Park have been temporarily taken down after sick finches were spotted in the area.

The decision was apparently prompted by the discovery of two sick birds, according to local resident and bird photographer Anabelle Wee.

Wee spotted a distressed purple finch on Wednesday and informed nature park staff of its condition. The bird was then captured for further investigation.

“Sadly, (staff) said the sick finch died last night,” Wee told the Richmond News on Thursday.

She added staff told her they suspected the bird, and another finch that was found dead earlier in the week, had died from Trichomonosis, a disease caused by parasites. According to the Canadian Wildlife Health Co-operative, it doesn’t pose a threat to humans or other mammals.

Although they have yet to determine how the birds got sick, staff have removed feeders that contain seed as a safety precaution.

A sign was put up on Thursday to inform nature park visitors saying this decision was made “to protect our birds from avian flu.”

However, the Richmond city spokesperson Clay Adams said there’s no information to suggest an avian flu outbreak in the community.

He added that many bird species are at “constant risk of disease” because of contaminated feeders and water.

“That is why anyone with feeders should ensure they are kept clean and removed if directed by wildlife experts,” Adams said.

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