The most common disease of feeder birds, Salmonellosis is caused by bacteria from the genus Salmonella and often begins as an intestinal-tract infection. Symptoms such as diarrhea, ruffled feathers, and lethargy usually occur. Birds who are showing symptoms usually die in 1 to 3 days.
The disease can spread rapidly at crowded feeding stations as healthy birds eat food contaminated by the droppings of sick birds. Salmonella can be transmitted to people who handle sick or dead birds; always wear disposable gloves when handling infected birds. And wash hands thoroughly after touching a bird feeder or birdbath.