Blackbird's strange head shape!

ey_tony

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Here's an interesting one for you guys.
This little fella along with his OH has a nest in my hedge which I had to abandon cutting recently when I discovered they had a nest. They keep popping in and out all day with food so they must have chicks though I try not to disturb them.
I stood by recently just in case they needed help when I spotted a magpie which was clearly searching through my hedges looking for nests to rob...they immediately mobbed it when it got close to the nest and so too did other birds so my services weren't really needed but a bit of hand waving and shouting from me seemed to put the blighter off and he's not been back so far.

Anyway just look at the little fella's head. My OH struggled to get a decent image on her old phone but she did mange this one which I had to enlarge it substantially hence the poor quality which clearly shows the strange shape of the rear of his head. My OH is convinced that it's a tumour but I'm inclined to think it's a kind of crest.

Whatever it is, it doesn't affect his ability to raise chicks and he's a very attendant and conscientious father. I've nicknamed him eggy ...short for egghead. He's a very sociable little fella now that he realises we mean him no harm and appreciates the food we put down for him or such as earth worms when my OH is doing a bit of gardening.

So what do you guys think?
I confess I've not seen anything like it on a blackbird though I've seen plenty that are odd coloured

egghead1.jpg
 

sightbob

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There has been a female blackbird with the same thing
seen in Norfolk in April, maybe drop RSPB a wee email
with pic.
John
 

ey_tony

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There has been a female blackbird with the same thing
seen in Norfolk in April, maybe drop RSPB a wee email
with pic.
John
Thanks for the reply. If there has been a similar sighting in Norfolk, it's definitely worth pursuing. It might be something that occurs from time to time in the species.
I confess I've never seen anything like it before and while I'm not what would be termed a twitcher, I was always a keen bird spotter from being a small child so it interests me.
 

ey_tony

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There has been a female blackbird with the same thing
seen in Norfolk in April, maybe drop RSPB a wee email
with pic.
John
Hi John, I was in the middle of emailing the RSPB and I thought I'd Google it and I came up with this image of a hen..maybe the one you're talking about. It's very similar indeed!

A tufted blackbird perhaps?

e36d4bdde1b8cbca22231b8359e44dc2bd837be1.jpg
 

ey_tony

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Very interesting.
S.
He is indeed. I seem to attract odd looking Blackbirds. Three years ago I had a blackbird nesting in our garden who was the ugliest male you've ever seen. He was scruffy and more grey than black with a hotch potch of mixed whites greys and dirty black feathers but that little guy was a grafter and helped rear three broods in a single year and was so tame he would come within a foot of you.
 

PaulD

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The growth is likely to be the outcome of Avian Pox which produces 'warty' growths, sometimes on the head. This bird seems to have recovered from it and the growth has feathered over.
 

ey_tony

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The growth is likely to be the outcome of Avian Pox which produces 'warty' growths, sometimes on the head. This bird seems to have recovered from it and the growth has feathered over.
Thanks for that informative reply which might just possibly solve the mystery. Cheers.(y)
 

GEK79

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Thanks for the reply. If there has been a similar sighting in Norfolk, it's definitely worth pursuing. It might be something that occurs from time to time in the species.
I confess I've never seen anything like it before and while I'm not what would be termed a twitcher, I was always a keen bird spotter from being a small child so it interests me.
Does he fly okay does the anomaly affect his flight..
 

ey_tony

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Does he fly okay does the anomaly affect his flight..
Not in the slightest, he's very feisty and territorial as well as very active as a parent and glides and flies gracefully and skillfully just as any other blackbird would.

This morning he and his partner got really angry after they spotted a cat in our garden. We went out to see what the ruckus was about and chased it off but he wasn't standing any nonsense and was on high alert for quite while afterwards.

Whatever the cause of his curious appearance, it certainly isn't having any apparent impact on his life including his behaviour as far as I can see and it hasn't prevented him from finding a mate and rearing offspring so really it's only curiosity that concerns me rather than concern for his wellbeing. :)
 

williegunn

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Looks more like a genetic throw back to Triceratops, behaviour sounds about right. In fact thinking about it some more it's probably pretty current for East Yorks.
 

ey_tony

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Just to say, the little fella and his mate finished rearing the brood in the nest this morning and a marauding eff'ing ginger cat came into garden and took at least one fledgling on the ground before we could scare it away.
It's not the first time it's done that and I have always let it off as I have indoor cats myself but next time it comes in, I'll be ready and net it and give it a good wetting down with a hose pipe....It shouldn't harm it and I have no wish to hurt it as killing is a natural instinct for cats but I don't allow mine to roam so it will remember not to come back again.

My two occasionally have a falling out and I just squirt them with a water pistol and that's enough to sort them out for the next few hours!
 

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