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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


You know Dan and I are avid bird watchers and we keep our bird feeders full AND CLEAN. And we know that the price of sunflower seed has doubled in the past year and thistle seed is going up in price too (so that is why the title). However, this is NOT the way I had hoped to save money....

Lately we have been noticing housefinches and pine siskins that have something wrong with their eyes; they are squinty eyed and their face feathers look wet. And you can get just about to these birds before they even notice you.

So, I called the DNR wildlife biologist today and explained the situation. She in turn called the DNR vet. She called me back with the following information.

This condition is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS AMONG BIRDS. It is called mycoplasmosis. And in order for Dan and I to help save our fine feathered friends, we will need to remove all feeders for up to two weeks (except for hummer feeders) and we may possibly decide to remove the bird baths for that time as well. The good news is this time of year, the birds don’t really need us to feed them, but the bad news is they are USED TO IT and we will feel so guilty when they come knocking on the windows wanting to know why we’ve abandoned them.

I am giving you the address to get to the area of the DNR website so you can read about this disease.

Go to www.michigan.gov/dnr. Once there look on the left hand side of the page and click on Wildlife habitat. When you get to that page, scroll down, left hand side, to Wildlife disease and UNDER that you will see Michigan Wildlife Disease Manual. Click on that and you will end up at a listing of the wildlife diseases. Scroll down to Mycoplasmosis and click on it. It is a lengthy article so that is why I am not copying the article for you.

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BIRDS AT THE FEEDERS. If this is going on, you need to help keep it from spreading. It was suggested to us to even assist further we should “put any birds we see suffering from this condition out of their misery”….if you get my drift. I don’t want PETA people down my throat or down the DNR’s throat but IT IS HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS AND THAT SICK BIRD YOU SEE IS GOING TO DIE ANYWAY. Don’t let the little thing suffer further and help keep it from spreading.


  1. Great information - I am going to clean my bird feeders tomorrow!

  2. I hate taking down our feeders, even for two weeks. We have had feeders in our yard for 16 years and our guests enjoy sitting on the deck watching the birds. This will be hard; I'm not a couch potato...I'm not glued to TV but for me this will be like the person who can't sit and watch TV PLUS THESE BIRDS ARE GOING TO WONDER WHERE THE FEEDERS WENT! No way to tell them it is for their own good.


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