Highlands & Islands

Good table manners could save greenfinch

Greenfinch Image copyright RSPB Images
Image caption Numbers of greenfinches have been falling

Good hygiene at bird tables, feeders and baths has been flagged up as a way of helping to halt a decline of one Britain's most colourful birds.

A rapid fall in numbers of greenfinches was first noticed in 2006 and linked to trichomonosis, a parasite-induced disease that stops them from feeding.

Cleaning tables and feeders has been recommended in the past.

The RSPB has renewed the advice after a new report suggested greenfinches were continuing to decline.

The Index of Abundance for Scottish Terrestrial Breeding Birds report was published by Scottish Natural Heritage last week.

The fall in finches has been a long-time concern for the British Trust for Ornithology.

Chaffinches, house Sparrows, dunnocks, great tits and siskins are also at risk to the disease.

RSPB Scotland spokesman Alan Tissiman, said: "Good hygiene is important for our garden birds.

"We recommend that people feeding their birds regularly clean their bird feeders and bird baths and move them around the garden from time to time to avoid a build up of old food."

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