A male green finch (Carduelis chloris) was seen to be sitting with ruffled feathers and slime on its beak shortly before dying and being submitted to the DWHC for post-mortem investigation.
The bird had a poor nutritional status with poorly developed breast musculature. A yellow pasty material was present on the mucosal surfaces of the oral cavity and extending into the oesophagus and crop (photo 2). The trachea was not affected. The stomachs were empty but no abnormalities were seen in the rest of the gastrointestinal tract.The liver and spleen were slightly enlarged.
Examination under the microscope of material sampled from the crop showed a large number of moving trichomonads; also visible is a stained preparation shown here (photo 3).
Examination of tissue samples under the microscope showed inflammation of the crop and oral cavity and the presence of large numbers of these organisms (Photo 4 and 5, arrows indicating trichomonads).
These findings are typical of an infection with Trichomonas gallinae which is common in doves and has recently been reported in other species of birds.
Photo banner: Dick Pasman