Wild birds can be affected by many different types of parasite or disease. In many cases these have relatively little impact on the individual, but in some cases they can cause illness or even death. Much of BTO's work in this area assesses the prevalence of disease in birds using gardens. Birds coming to feeders often congregate more closely than they would in the wild, so the risk of disease transmission can be increased. BTO works to understand how to minimise these risks, and to provide advice on the safest way to feed birds.
Avian malaria linked to decline in London's House Sparrows
During a three-year study led by the ZSL Institute of Zoology, in collaboration with the RSPB and later BTO, almost 400 individual House Sparrows were colour-ringed to allow their survival to be...
Garden BirdWatchers allow us to better understand disease in British finches
Leg lesions, more commonly known as ‘scaly leg’ or ‘tassel foot’ are growths on the legs of feet of finches. A study from the Zoological Society of London in collaboration with BTO, the Complutense...
Dodging the blades: gulls and wind farms
Offshore wind farms may affect birds in many ways, such as stopping them moving between places, or restricting access to areas where they feed. Collision risk is a key concern for seabirds, yet there...
Report on the welfare of your garden wildlife
Tell us about sick and diseased wildlife found in your garden. Garden BirdWatch participants can also add observations when entering their usual GBW counts.