Odd Blue Tit

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Odd Blue Tit

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This Blue Tit has been a regular visitor to my garden all winter. Does anyone know why its head/beak are so perculiar? Apologise for the photo quality but I've cropped it  and zoomed in to try and highlight the oddities. It seems to be able to feed OK and as I've said has been around for a while - I assume there cant be two the same!  

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  • Hi Jeff,

    There are a couple of possibilities here. The first is the bird has feather mites. Most of the time birds are able to keep these under control, but on the odd occassion, the mites get the better of them and cause birds to go a bit bald, somtimes completely, making them look very strange indeed! This issue usually resolves itself when the birds next moult, but the have to put up with it until then.

    Secondly, the beak may be slightly overgrown. Birds beaks are like fingernails and keep growing unless they are kept ground down, by regular feeding etc. Sometimes the beak can grow a little out of control, making it quite hard for the bird to feed. We had one here in the summer, affectionately named beaky, with a very overgrown beak. Check out the newspaper article about it here: http://news.scotsman.com/7053/Beaky--the--blue.6218692.jp

    And here is a picture taken by Kirk Thomas:

     It also might look extra big because of the missing feathers.

    Hope this helps,

    Paula

All Replies
  • hi jeff, not quite the same, but....!!!!!!

  • Hi Jeff,

    There are a couple of possibilities here. The first is the bird has feather mites. Most of the time birds are able to keep these under control, but on the odd occassion, the mites get the better of them and cause birds to go a bit bald, somtimes completely, making them look very strange indeed! This issue usually resolves itself when the birds next moult, but the have to put up with it until then.

    Secondly, the beak may be slightly overgrown. Birds beaks are like fingernails and keep growing unless they are kept ground down, by regular feeding etc. Sometimes the beak can grow a little out of control, making it quite hard for the bird to feed. We had one here in the summer, affectionately named beaky, with a very overgrown beak. Check out the newspaper article about it here: http://news.scotsman.com/7053/Beaky--the--blue.6218692.jp

    And here is a picture taken by Kirk Thomas:

     It also might look extra big because of the missing feathers.

    Hope this helps,

    Paula

  • Feeding must be difficult for this bird but it does seem to be surviving so far.We had a Great Tit with a similar shaped beak a couple of years ago and it certainly lived throughout the summer and autumn before it vanished from the garden.It was noticable that it seemed to prefer feeding from a seed tray than the hanging seed or peanut feeder.

  • Thanks Paula. It's amazing how noticeable the bird is without its blue cap! I hope it continues to be a regular visitor to my garden.

  • JeffG

    This Blue Tit has been a regular visitor to my garden all winter. Does anyone know why its head/beak are so perculiar? Apologise for the photo quality but I've cropped it  and zoomed in to try and highlight the oddities. It seems to be able to feed OK and as I've said has been around for a while - I assume there cant be two the same!  

       hi geof g i must admit i have never sen a wildbird suffering with feather mtes as this little chap is, i know cage birds do suffer with this complaint. best regards mac

  • JeffG

    This Blue Tit has been a regular visitor to my garden all winter. Does anyone know why its head/beak are so perculiar? Apologise for the photo quality but I've cropped it  and zoomed in to try and highlight the oddities. It seems to be able to feed OK and as I've said has been around for a while - I assume there cant be two the same!  

    Hi Jeff

    I've seen quite a few tits with overgrow beaks, after a while the deformity becomes bad enough to affect their feeding habits, once this happens they become prone to catching diseases and serious infestations which further drag the birds health down causing serious loss of condition....a bit like when humans get an illness that leads to secondary complications, left too late or unchecked it can prove fatal.

    Heres  a couple of shots of one from my garden.