The Dangers of Bird Feeding
The widespread practice of feeding birds like pigeons in private and public places is not a bad preoccupation at all. But there are negative health risks that lurk behind it. Out of sheer penchant for the birds, they continue feeding them in whatever way they could to either please their egos or simply they want to make a special bond with the birds, oblivious that their droppings could mean more harm than good to humans.
Doing such allows them to multiply many times than what is expected. When the bird population grows so is the health hazards they may cause to humans in terms of the excessive accumulations of birds' droppings everywhere. And these droppings could endanger the lives of some people who are easily prone to sickness.
Health officials were convinced that bird droppings pose slight health risks to humans, says a study from the Burnham Institute of Medicine. In fact, the Illinois Department of Public Health also said that serious health risks could arise from disease organisms that can grow in the nutrient-rich accumulations of bird droppings, feathers and debris under a roost, especially if roosts have been active for years. It added that external parasites also may become a problem when infested birds leave their nests because there is a possibility that the parasites can bite people.
Studies showed that there are two of the known diseases — histoplasmosis and Cryptococcus — that can infect humans from birds' droppings. Commonly known in the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, histoplasmosis can affect both humans and animals and is transmitted by airborne spores from soil contaminated by pigeons' droppings as well as droppings from other birds. Usually, the enrichment of the soil by the birds' droppings for two years or more allow the disease to reach significant levels of development, the report said.Continued on the next page