Friday, February 20, 2009

What's Missing Here?

Recently I was telling Toni (A Spattering) about a Mourning Dove (MODO) I had at me feeder that was missing something. I knew right away there was something different about her (the bird, not Toni:)) but it took a few minutes for me to realize what the problem was.

Can you tell what's missing?

Does this help?

Compare their back ends...Yes! I knew you'd get it. Her tail feathers are missing!

It didn't seem to bother her at all. In fact, I think I was more distraught than her. I'm not sure what the other MODOs were thinking but one got a little violent with her.

She just took it all in stride and kept on eating.

A few posts on PABirds stated that missing tail feathers in MODOs can be caused by their tail feathers freezing to the surface on which the bird is perched. The bird takes off and leaves her feathers behind. OUCH!! It can also be caused by predators such as a hungry, but just a little too slow, cat. I'm not sure how poor little "No-Tail" lost her feathers, but I hope they've grown back by now and she is again strutting her stuff.


Kallen305 said...

I have a Carolina Wren that didn't have tail feathers all winter long. I am happy to report that it is now growing all of its feathers back. Poor little dove getting picked on like that. I hope it gets its feathers back.

Toni said...

Hey Michele sometimes our little feathered friends loose their tail feathers because someone like me didn't get the right hold on them in the mist net. Yea you heard right a little chickadee slipped through my hands and off came some tail feathers.

Bird Girl said...

Interesting! I've seen others post these guys without the long tail feathers - now we know how it happens - thanks!

Heather said...

Michele, I just learned about this phenomenon rather recently myself, except I photographed the opposite end of it... I found some feathers that got left behind on a branch, and was kindly educated that they were the tail feathers of a mourning dove. I've got a post coming up tomorrow that shows a MODO with some ice/snow accumulated on its tail. Small world, eh?

Leedra said...

She is actually cute that way, but doesn't look normal.

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