Date of this Version
A newly-recognized disease that causes swollen eyelids and weepy eyes in house finches was confirmed in Nebraska in 1996 and has been observed as far west as McCook. Other symptoms of this emerging disease include wet, matted feathers around the eyelids and face, weight loss, fluffed feathers, inactivity, loss of sight, and eventual death in some affected birds. This disease, caused by a strain of the bacteria-like organism Mycoplasma gallisepticum, was first observed in several mid-Atlantic and eastern states in 1994. It has now spread to Canada, all of the eastern and Midwestern United States, and as far west as Texas, but has not been reported in Colorado.