Sick Crows
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Posted 8/12/2009 1:17:10 PM
Fledgling

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In our backyard we have a crow family coming for years, so we can even tell them apart. Recently they are looking sick. Loosing their feathers on their heads, all of them..one by one. They look like vultures now. Otherwise they behave normal. My concern is if somebody knows what kind of disease it might be and also how can we protect our parrots indoors?
Thank you.
Post #216083
Posted 8/12/2009 2:52:38 PM
Feather Fanatic

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well, protect your indoor birds by keeping them in doors and not touching the crow ( dead or very sick) yourself.
I would call the DNR or what ever wild life agency your state has. Every county will have a contact. although crows are not exactly a glamour species, they are like the canary in the mine shaft. They tell what is going on in the wild bird population in general and the information you can give will be very helpful for the wild life agency.
Post #216091
Posted 8/12/2009 3:19:49 PM


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Good advice Icky. I was just on Audubon and researching the same thing...because I have seen quite a few bald headed cardinals in my backyard. And what I found out is that early fall and winter cardinals have a molt that is either full or a partial molt, leaving alot of bald cardinals. And during the winter you can see their newer feathers that have come in have a grey tinge to them before they turn that true red. Now for what I found out on crows is that American Crows will molt each year right around this time. It is a complete molt, and they will replace every feather one by one. Early fall most outdoor birds will have a partial or full molt.
But it doesn't hurt to check like Icky advised.



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Post #216093
Posted 8/13/2009 6:12:51 AM
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WOW! That is really interesting. I have never seen that in a group of crows but only partly so on one or two and only once on a cardinal. And I thought I watched them pretty closely. Very interesting info.
Post #216140
Posted 8/14/2009 10:44:11 AM
Fledgling

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Thank you very much for your replies! We have called wild life agency, but they said they are not aware of any sickness in this area. They don't mentioned possible molting season.... I have no idea the molt can be so serious! But we will be careful more not to get in contact with the birds.
Post #216239
Posted 8/15/2009 1:57:49 PM


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I remember reading about this not too long ago, although the subject was cardinals, not crows. Another speculation is that the birds are getting feather mites that are destroying the feathers on the head, but no where else since birds can reach the rest of their body.

Unless some conclusive testing is done, I'd lean towards an abnormal molt as well, considering the fact that the feathers regrow within weeks, and no other feathers are affected.

Post #216323
Posted 10/1/2009 12:02:58 PM
Fledgling

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Thank you for the replies! The crows have molted and their feathers are back. Looking healthy and well now! Thank you!
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