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Just Moulting Or Something Wrong With Her?

This female Blackbird visits my garden on a daily basis, devouring mountains of suet nibbles and meal worms. As you can see she's looking a bit like a mini Vulture, with all her feathers missing on her face. Is she just moulting or is there something wrong with her, does anyone know? I haven't seen any other Blackbird (or ANY bird for that matter) looking as bad as this! She seems very lively and isn't lethargic, or anything. Do birds usually lose as much feathers as this from their face?

  • Assuming blackbirds are as susceptible as blue tits, then my guess is mites. She should recover in time and the feathers will grow back. There are photos of a bald robin on one of the forums. Hopefully someone with a better memory will post the photo or share the link. She does look rather scary with that food in her beak!

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • In reply to doggie:

    Hi Ella,   I saw the same thing a couple of days ago with one of the Great Tits who had a bad case of mite attack and most of his head feathers were gone, poor thing, however, fortunately they should grow back again.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Hi Ella.

    I had a blackbird last year who lost a lot of head feathers during the summer but they grew back during the August moult.

  • In reply to Grandmamac:

    Thanks for the info, everyone. Poor little thing, I hope her feathers do grow back soon. She certainly does look weird. The lack of feathers on her face make her beak look extra long and her eyes bulgy!

  • I wonder if there is anything that can be done to treat the mites?
    I only ask because We had a male blackbird who’s tail feathers had all gone except a few quills left. Then head became bald and it was never seen again. Unfortunately it’s partner was incubating eggs at the type and died doing that - her ‘husband’ hadn’t returned so she just stayed there. Poor poor thing - a sad tale!
    The worrying thing is that I’ve just seen another male this year and am concerned history will repeat. Any helpful comments out there?
  • In reply to Macleod:

    Macleod said:
    I wonder if there is anything that can be done to treat the mites?


    I only ask because We had a male blackbird who’s tail feathers had all gone except a few quills left. Then head became bald and it was never seen again. Unfortunately it’s partner was incubating eggs at the type and died doing that - her ‘husband’ hadn’t returned so she just stayed there. Poor poor thing - a sad tale!
    The worrying thing is that I’ve just seen another male this year and am concerned history will repeat. Any helpful comments out there?

    There is mite treatment available, though I'm not sure what benefit, if any, it will have for wild birds.

    Also, are you aware this thread is nine years old.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler