Sunday, June 1, 2014 Northwestern Crow with deformed bill

Seward, Alaska

It's been a long time since I have seen a deformed bill. This poor NORTHWESTERN CROW has a severely deformed bill. I watched it walk in the rain along the mowed roadside near the Williams Park Campground, a popular Northwestern Crow nesting area. It then strode into the road and, bending its head parallel to the pavement, drank from a puddle in a crack. This seemed to be successful, and was repeated a few more times.

The crow's plumage still looks groomed and waterproof, which is extremely important for every bird's health. Unfortunately, the deformed bill never stops growing and eventually it will become useless for preening, obtaining food, eating, and defense. The future is very bleak.

If you see a deformed bill, please try to document it with photos and report it to the USGS site at <> There is a photo gallery at this site and information. No cause has yet been determined.

American Birding has an interesting article on this sad mystery at>

Birding on a rainy afternoon,
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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