Hi fellow birdwatchers of Connecticut, I need your expertise. I had a strange encounter with a bird, I opened up my front door this morning, and found this little fella huddled up against it

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From what I can tell, it was blind. It's left eye was swollen shut, and it's right eye wasn't moving. Is it a house finch? I turned the porch light on, and it didn't react, I got a little closer, and it started hopping slowly around. Did I stumble across Avian Conjunctivitis in Torrington?

Photo by Large Dave
Photo by Large Dave

I've tried to compare it online to pics of the common birds of Connecticut, and my best guess is that it's a juvenile house finch. My next search was 'House finch eye disease', and according to a recent article from psu.edu, I may have stumbled upon a bird suffering from avian conjunctivitis. If you notice a bird with crusty, glassy-looking, infected eyes, that appears disoriented, mangy, or allows you to come close, don't touch it. I went to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protections website, and read up on our state's policy about reporting sick or dying birds. Since this bird was still very much alive, I could report it, but Connecticut is primarily focused on mass deaths from bird flu, and ask that those reporting not to do so for solitary birds. If I go home to find several more sick birds, at that point, I will escalate it to a report to the DEEP.

Avian conjunctivitis is not transmissible from bird to human, we have that in our favor. What do you think birders? Is it time to pull the feeders in our complex?

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