Cause – This fairly common pigeon disease is caused by a protozoan that attacks the red blood cells of our birds. It is primarily carried by the pigeon fly, which acts as the intermediate host. Random tests of pigeon flocks have shown as much as a 30% malaria rate.
Symptoms – Symptoms are vague. Except for some loss of gloss in plumage and reduced performance in racing events, there are no readily visible symptoms.
Prevention – Since the pigeon fly is the primary carrier of this disease, it is imperative that these flies be controlled. It’ important to quarantine newly acquired birds, dust or dip birds after they have mingled with others, and eliminate contact wild pigeons, because curing this disease is very difficult.