SCIENCE OF SPRING: Bird species back from the brink of extinction

By Tom Spears, Ottawa Sun, April 5, 2020

While we are at home and worried, there is no better time to remind ourselves of the wonders of spring. The change of season is all around us with many facets of backyard biology. In the latest part of our Science of Spring series, Tom Spears looks at the recovery of bird species that weren’t expected to survive.

• House finches were first infected by a bacterial eye disease in 1994, and it was big trouble.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology warns that infected birds “have red, swollen, runny, or crusty eyes. In extreme cases the eyes become swollen shut and the bird becomes blind. You might observe an infected bird sitting quietly in your yard, clumsily scratching an eye against its foot or a perch. While some infected birds recover, many die from starvation, exposure, or predation.”

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