In recent years, a very contagious eye disease has been spreading among house finches and goldfinches in at least 33 eastern states and southeastern Canada. Infected finches have crusty, swollen eyelids and oozing nostrils. While some birds recover, many die, either directly from the disease, or because they cannot feed or avoid predators because of their impaired vision. The infection poses no known health threat to humans. In our file about bird feeders we strongly recommend cleaning the feeder several times each season. If you spot some finches with this bacterial disease, you can help slow down the spread by scrubbing the feeder with soap and wa-ter, and then disinfect the feeder with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water. If you do this monthly during the busy winter season, you will help hold back on the spread of this finch disease. Also, prevent overcrowding by adding extra feeders. Diseases are more easily spread when birds are in close contact with each other.