Finches Are Dying Just After Eating Seed

Question From: m. bowers - Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States
Q: we have the red cross beaked finches and a yellow finch but after they eat the sunflower seeds they just sit down and sleep. We have been finding a lot of dead ones. My husband says they only live 2 years, he things they eat, then sit down to die. I find this hard to believe. We love the birds, help!

A: I have never heard nor read about this sort of reaction. Birds don't die of old age at or around feeders. Your seed may be tainted. I'd throw it out, but save a sample along with the source and approximate date of purchase. Wash your feeders and disinfect them. I would contact your local health department immediately. It could be West Nile disease. Using rubber gloves pick up dead birds and put them in a plastic bag for inspection. Good Luck. Best Nancy