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Poisoning at bird feeders spreads

By Rick Bella
The Oregonian

An outbreak of salmonella poisoning is spreading across the metro area among songbirds that visit bird feeders or eat seeds dropped below.

An outbreak of salmonella poisoning is spreading across the metro area among songbirds that visit bird feeders or eat seeds dropped below.

Pine siskins, small finches that live in western Oregon year-round, are particularly susceptible.

Veterinarian Deb Sheaffer, who manages the Audubon Society of Portland's Wildlife Care Center, said local residents with bird feeders are reporting that they have found dead or dying birds. Some of the first reports came from Lake Oswego, but reports from other areas also are coming in.

"This happens at this time of year every year," Sheaffer said. "But it can be pretty disturbing to see. If they're still alive, the birds look sickly. They can't fly or get away from predators."

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