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Disease and garden wildlife

Just like us and our pets, wild birds can suffer from disease. Garden bird feeding can attract unusually high numbers of birds to a confined area, which enables disease to spread easily. 

Other garden wildlife are also affected; hedgehogs can be affected by salmonellosis and some internal parasites, and frogs can be affected by, among others, ranavirus or chytridiomycosis. Find out on these pages what the commonest diseases are, and what you can do to help.

Avian influenza (bird flu)

There are numerous strains of the avian influenza (bird flu) virus, and most pose no significant problems for bird or human health. The unusually virulent strain currently causing concern is referred to as H5N1. Find out more about it here. More...

Avian influenza (bird flu)

Disease among garden birds

From time to time, sick or dead birds may appear in a garden. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to help them, because once birds are visibly sick, it is rarely possible to treat them successfully. More...

Disease among garden birds

Bird deformities

Deformities have been recorded in a wide range of birds and are most frequently seen in species that are easily observable, such as garden birds. These deformities can be caused by injury, genetic defect and disease and most noticeably affect the bill and legs. More...

Bird deformities

Help us to monitor disease in garden wildlife

The RSPB has monitored incidence of disease in garden birds since 2001, and most of this time we have collaborated on research and monitoring into garden bird diseases with other organisations More...