What's not to love about house finches? They are colorful, lively, noisy and happy little birds that come to feeders and hang out with bluebirds....all good things.
But a couple of years ago, I spotted this fellow at the feeder - an obvious case of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, or house finch eye disease.
He was more skittish than house finches usually are, and flew up into the tree when I went out.
And last week, I saw this female with what appears to be early stages of the disease. I have signed up for Cornell's study of this problem, and will be submitting my observations of house finches, with and without signs of eye disease. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/hofi/ Goldfinches are also included in the study, but I haven't seen any infected goldfinches so far.