Cowbirds are able to spread a number of different diseases through their droppings. Many of these diseases can become airborne and can be transferred by just being around bird droppings!
Diseases that are associated with cowbirds include: Histoplasmosis, Candidiasis, and Salmonellosis. Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that is caused by fungi that grow inside pigeon droppings that can be fatal. Candidiasis is a yeast infection that causes painful itching in the mouth, skin, the respiratory system and the intestines. Salmonellosis is often described as “food poisoning” but can also be found in pigeon droppings. Contamination in the ventilators or air conditioners of restaurants can contaminate food and surfaces.