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Odd Bod Bird

Anyone got any ideas about what has happened to this chaffinch, top left in the picture?   All the feathers on his back and thighs seem to have doubled in length, he looks like he is wearing petticoats!   At first we thought maybe he had been attacked by a sparrowhawk or something, but his feathers have all stayed like that for two months now. He seems quite healthy otherwise, hangs around with all the other chaffinches, and comes  regularly for food.

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,794

    How odd!  It looks as if he's started to moult but it's not completed properly - if I were you I'd get in touch with your local Wildlife Trust http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/your-local-trust and send them your picture.

    Keep us informed image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • OneofsevenOneofseven Posts: 338

    Thanks, Dove, will do that.  

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,794

    There are cage-birds and poultry that have frizzled feathers - with them it's obviously a mutation which has been bred for, so presumably it can happen in the wild - it will be interesting to see if he has offspring that carry the same mutation.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Poor birdy look like he's been dragged backwards through a hedge.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,316

    My guess is also that it's a genetic mutation.  Perhaps his oil glands aren't working - a bit like one of us having a dry skin condition.  What's left of my hair looks like that after being washed! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,753

    I read /heard somewhere that birds looking after babies stop looking after themsleves.

    Devon.
  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    In Winter birds fluff up thir plumage to keep warm, as per the bird in the photo. I did a Google, and apparently a bird that is unwell may do likewise, so your bird is either feeling the cold, or poorly. Of course it could also be a mutation. I've seen birds fluffed up, but I am no expert and can not say which is the correct answer. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,794

    That is much more than 'fluffed up feathers' .  I'm pretty certain it's a mutation.

    image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    Yes, I'm sure it's a genetic mutation. Mustn't' be doing him any harm otherwise he wouldn't be around to take a photo of. Time will tell if the females are put off but the mutation is likely to be recessive so the chicks would look 'normal'. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,794

    He's obviously survived the winter like that so it can't be too much of a problem for him - from what I can see the wing feathers appear normal.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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