Diseases & Dangers of Birds
While their droppings are messy and inconvenient, there are worse things that come from having birds around. Birds are known for carrying several different diseases, as well as parasites. They are most known for carrying avian flu, which is a strand of influenza contracted from infected birds that has been known to have a high mortality rate in humans. Salmonella is also one of the most commonly known infections that can be acquired from birds. While some of the diseases they carry are passed by direct contact with the bird itself, there are many that are passed through contact with the feces. Many of these are results of fungi that are capable of growing in the feces of birds. Histoplasmosis is one of the more common diseases from this and can cause severe upper respiratory issues in humans.
Aside from diseases and parasites that the birds can transfer directly, they are also carries of other pests and parasites that are outside of the bird. Parasites such as ticks, bed bugs, and chicken mites are commonly found on birds. Mostly, they are found on the more common birds such as pigeons and starlings. These “ectoparasites” can get into your yard, onto your pet, or even into your home. While these may not be necessarily harmful to you on their own, these bugs can transfer diseases of their own as well.
Like all other wild animals, it is important to use protective gear when coming in contact with birds or their droppings. You can also call a wildlife professional to help with most bird issues, as long as it is not a protected species.