Deformed beaks…a mystery

deformed

Birds’ beaks are made of keratin, similar to human fingernails and hair. Normally, beaks wear down with use, continuing to grow at the same time. There’s a balance. But something is causing this super-fast growth — and it doesn’t get turned off. There seems to be a concentration in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska but the cause is unknown still.

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Read more about this mystery at the Alaska Science Center or the Falcon Research Group or the University of Michigan Dearborn.

Corvid Abnormalities

Abnormalities can be found in all life forms–corvids included. Here are some interesting photos I found of corvids with two abnormalities deformed beaks and partial albino-ism–leucistic or albino corvids.

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Leucistic (partially-albino) crow

Albino Steller's Jay
Albino Steller's Jay

Leucistic (partially-albino) magpie (Photo from Messybeast.com)
Leucistic (partially-albino) magpie (Photo from Messybeast.com)

Leucistic (partially-albino) Jackdaw (Photo Source: Surfbirds.com)
Leucistic (partially-albino) Jackdaw (Photo Source: Surfbirds.com)

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Raven with a deformed bill

Crow with deformed beak
Crow with deformed beak

Crow with deformed beak
Crow with deformed beak

Steller's Jay with deformed beak
Steller's Jay with deformed beak

Read about THE MYSTERY OF THE LONG-BEAK SYNDROME here. Or you can read Passerines with Deformed Bills by Julie A. Craves (an article) here.

There seems to be a high concentration of birds with deformed beaks in the Pacific Northwest–I wonder why.