Great Tit tumours?

   Sorry for the poor quality images, but, whilst out walking with my dog yesterday, I saw a Great Tit that looked rather dishevelled.  I tried to take some photos, but it was flitting about quite a lot.  We were near the end of our walk and tired, so I didn't spend long watching it, and it wasn't until I viewed the photos later at home that I noticed what appears to be quite sizeable pink tumours on the bird's left side.  Had I realised at the time, I would have spent longer observing it and trying to get better quality images.

What is the condition, and how common is it?  Is there anything that can be done to prevent it and/or help?

  • Hi Red Squirrel.
    It could be Avian Pox www.bto.org/.../avian-pox or a cancerous tumour (if there is such a thing).
    Thankfully it isn't on its face so it can at least feed, being a wild bird I'm afraid there is nothing you can do to help, hopefully its natural immunity may try and combat it whatever it is.

    My Flickr photos

  • Thanks, Alan. That is a useful link, thank you. Yes, it does look like it has Avian Pox. It was moving and behaving quite normally, so I do hope it will be fine. I hadn't seen the condition before.
  • Hi Red Squirrel,      as Alan says, it looks like the GT has Avian Pox which is a highly contagious disease but from which birds can recover fully, even when at an advanced stage (so I was told by an experienced bird ringer who recaptured a bird which had Avian Pox previously and saw that the bird had recovered on it's second capture.   

    Here's a GT which we had in our garden in December with advanced AP......       we had two GT's and one did seem to recover fully.      I showed this photo to the ringer and he said even this bird had a chance to recover in time.

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    Regards, Hazel 

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