Torresian crows preying on sick feral pigeons

To: Peter Shute <>
Subject: Torresian crows preying on sick feral pigeons
From: Belinda Cassidy <>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 19:03:45 +1000
Dear Peter & Storm,

I really hate seeing the feral pigeons suffer, so I've tried to learn more
about their ailments. What I think is happening with them is they have a
highly contagious bacterial infection in their flock, probably salmonella or
e-coli.  You can tell from their droppings (ie diarrhea) , emaciation, and
rapid death. The problem with these bacterial diseases is many of the flock
who have recovered from it will be carriers for life, and also the bacteria
can live for years in the soil and even in the air. So you can't really
control it in wild populations. I had a wildlife carer check 3 of my dying
wild pigeons this month for canker, and they couldn't see any signs in their
throat, so I think its not the primary cause of death in most cases (but may
be present as a secondary infection). We've also had some sudden crow deaths
this year, they were all emaciated when I found their bodies. So I'm not
sure what to do.

On Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 6:31 PM, Peter Shute <> wrote:

> I don't know if crows killing or eating pigeons is normal, but the sickness
> rate in "your" flock seems unusually high. It makes me wonder if they're
> being poisoned.
> Perhaps you should raise that possibility next time you take one to a vet,
> if you haven't already.
> Peter Shute
> --------------------------
> Sent using BlackBerry

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