Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Adventures & Observations

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  Mutations in the Bird World

Published: August 17, 2011
Tags: General Observations, mutation, Chipping Sparrow, genetic, aberration, juvenile, growth

Even in the bird world, I guess mutations happen.  I don't know if this poor Chipping Sparrow, pictured below, was a victim of a genetic aberration or if he developed some strange growth so early on in his young life.

It was interesting watching him and his parent, though. The parent didn't seem to be phased by his offspring's rather grotesque growth. He stayed near his side, answering the juvenile's cries with bugs and seeds.

The young one couldn't have many more days, sadly. He actually allowed me to approach and I got to pet it for a moment before it hopped away. The little guy can fly, but it seemed to be doing less and less of that today, vision, probably becoming more and more compromised.

I hesitated posting this, so I'm sorry if it is a little tough to look at, but I thought it was an interesting phenomenon to document.

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This poor Chipping Sparrow has an odd growth on this side.

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As you can, his other side looks quite normal.

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Its parent feeds it diligently.

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Another view

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