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.
BTO and COVID-19
The BTO view on participating in surveys during the Coronavirus pandemic (UPDATED- 24.3.2020).
Disease in birds - a masterclass
Disease can have serious implications for our wild bird populations, as Wildife Vets from the Zoological Society of London explain.
Quantifying the spatial risk of Avian Influenza introduction into British poultry by wild birds
Migratory passerine birds in Britain carry Phytophthora ramorum inoculum on their feathers and "feet" at low frequency
Avian malaria linked to decline in London's House Sparrows
The once ubiquitous House Sparrow is now absent from many urban areas. New research suggests that malarial parasites may be involved in this decline.
Garden BirdWatchers allow us to better understand disease in British finches
Weekly reports from BTO Garden BirdWatchers, as well as ad hoc sightings of disease from members of the public to Garden Wildlife Health, have aided our understanding of leg lesions (more commonly...
Dodging the blades: gulls and wind farms
Initial findings suggest that Lesser Black-backed Gulls in north-west England fly within wind farms, but may avoid wind turbines once there.
Learn about the birds in your garden with Garden BirdWatch
Help with research into garden wildlife by joining our Garden BirdWatch network.