Stephen Ellison

Deadly Bacteria Affecting Birds in Contra Costa County

Wildlife officials in the East Bay said Wednesday a deadly bacteria is hitting birds in alarming numbers.

The disease is much like pink eye, but for birds, it’s deadly. Bird lovers are being asked to take precautions.

Wildlife experts at the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital say they’ve had more than 80 sick birds brought it with the bacterial disease.

"It starts out with them looking like they have squinty eyes then progresses to swelling and redness, and eventually the eyes will be swollen shut," expert Aiero Shipman said.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure, and once infected, the birds will end up dying, experts say. It’s also highly contagious, so anything a sick bird touches can spread the disease.

"We are asking people if you have bird feeders or bird baths, clean them at least weekly," Shipman said.

Beryl and Wally Clark say there’s nothing they love more than watching birds eat and play in their Concord backyard. The Clarks do all they can to care for their feathered friends. They have more than two dozen bird feeders and several bird baths; they want every bird to feel at home at their home.

"I hope all the birds feel healthy and safe and feel welcome here," Beryl said. "And eat to their heart's content."

The Clarks are doing all they can to keep the bird and themselves healthy. They don’t want any harm to hit their backyard bird sanctuary.

"We don’t want to lose one bird; every one is necessary," Beryl said. "We enjoy each one. It doesn’t matter what color feathers, they’re all welcome."

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