Bumblefoot on Chaffinch

I noticed a few days ago that one of our resident chaffinches is suffering from Bumblefoot ( can't remember the proper term ).

This is the first instance I have come across in this garden (been here 4 years ).  Seen it before but many years ago.

Wondering if anyone else has noticed "their" birds being afflicted recently?



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 14,878

    Not so far this year but last year was dreadful. It's such a sad thing to witness.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • It is indeed.  I definitely never saw any last year.  I am hoping it's a one off but logic tells me that is unlikelyimage

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,133

    It may not be Bumblefoot - there is another viral condition which affects chaffinches causing tumours on the feet http://www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/helpingbirds/health/birddeformities.aspx


    I think the best thing we can do is to keep the feeders regularly cleaned and disinfected.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 25,354

    I wonder if that's why I've seen no chaffinches in this garden since moving here a couple of years ago, whereas my garden round the corner (for 16 years)  was chaffinch central. Couldn't move for 'em round there. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I've just looked at the link Dove gave above and confess to being a bit puzzled.

    I first learned of the existence of Bumblefoot with regard to Chaffinches some 35 years ago.  The person who told me about it was a veterinary technician with the ZSL and a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable "bird" person to boot.  I took it for granted he knew what he was talking about.

    The RSPB link only mentions Bumblefoot in relation to larger birds ( Crows, Raptors etc ) and then, as Dove says, mentions another viral infection for chaffinches causing tumours on the feet. 

    Can't get close enough to the bird in question to see properly but too close when I do see it to use my binocs.  The whole foot seems affected from toes to hock and I just assumed I was looking at an instance of Bumblefoot.

    Anyway, thanks all for your responses.  I might ask around my neighbours and see if they have noticed anything.image



  • Dove is most likely right though withough biopsy samples it would be hard to be certain of anything. Keep everything clean with a suitable disinfectant. Bumblefoot in domestic birds is always associated with poor hygeine.

  • Liz88Liz88 Posts: 40

    There are some other conditions which affect the feet and legs of finches, e.g. http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw/gardens-wildlife/garden-birds/disease/warts

    which mentions scales building up on legs caused by mites, and a disease called Fringilla papillomavirus, affecting specifically Chaffinches and Bramblings, which I have observed here, though I hadn't even heard of bumblefoot.

    More about Fringilla papillomavirus, http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/wildlife/f/901/p/8992/64915.aspx

  • Thanks for both of the above.  I'll check out your link Liz88image

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