Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bill Deformities

Something odd is occurring in the state of Alaska. Twenty-eight species of birds, migratory as well as resident species, have been seen with bill abnormalities and, as of yet, no one knows the cause. Of the twenty-eight species involved, black-capped chickadees have shown the highest incidence followed by the Northwestern crow, red-breasted nuthatch, black-billed magpie, Steller’s jay, and downy woodpecker respectively. Photos of other birds with bill abnormalities: American kestrel, common raven, white pelican, northern flicker, rough-legged hawk, red-tailed hawk, red-winged blackbird, Clark's nutcracker. To read detailed accounts about this go here: (1), (2)

Journal articles involving bill deformities: 1) Abnormally Long Bill in Young Curve-Billed Thrasher 2) Passerines With Deformed Bills 3) Bill Deformity in a Blue Jay 4) Bill Deformity in Catbird 5) Bill Deformities in the Robin, Black-throated Blue Warbler and Willet 6) Incidence of crossed bills in Inca Doves 7) Odd Performance of a Flicker with a Malformed Bill Photo courtesy of USGS.

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