Sunday, April 1, 2012

Avian keratin disorder

Yesterday I went to the Montreal Botanical Gardens and photographed various birds and only when I got home and checked out this photo on the computer did I notice the strange beak on this crow.

Since then I have done a fair bit of reading on "avian keratin disorder" which has been seen mainly in Alaska and British Columbia in alarming numbers of North-western Crows and Black-capped Chickadees.  Other species are being affected as well and sometimes both the upper and lower parts of the beak are deformed and this can interfere with the bird's ability to eat.

I found a website where I could report this bird and send the photo.  It is a U.S. site which is gathering information to see how widespread this is in North America. 

There are theories that contaminants are responsible for this disorder but there is still more research to do to reach conclusive findings.

Here is a link for more information: