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Old Saturday 8th August 2009, 04:33   #1
wings
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Growth on Hummingbird's bill

Several months ago I posted a photo of an irregular lump-like growth on a male Anna's bill, and the feedback was that it was probably due to pollen mixed with sticky nectar. Today, I have another photo of a (juvenile?) Anna with an unusual and different growth on its bill. When seen full size, the growth appears to look like a small bean shape. Does anyone have any idea what this might he?

Sheri?
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Old Sunday 9th August 2009, 17:14   #2
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Could be a lesion caused by avian pox. These often heal spontaneously if they don't prevent the bird from feeding.
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Old Wednesday 19th August 2009, 04:54   #3
wings
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Thanks Sheri. I try to keep my feeders cleaned about once a week with a weak solution of bleach and water, thoroughly rinsing the feeder after. The photographed bird is new to my yard, so I don't think my feeders are the cause of the pox, if that is what it is.
The resident Annas is healthy as can be.
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Old Wednesday 30th June 2010, 14:50   #4
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This case, and the other Anna´s hummer you sent look like avian pox definetively... we have had a couple of cases in hummer feeders near Bogota, Colombia..
check:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/colombi...7624152301523/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/colombi...7624152301523/
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Old Thursday 1st July 2010, 06:43   #5
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Very sad photos, Diego. I've never personally seen that degree of bill deformity up here in the north.
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Old Tuesday 17th August 2010, 21:55   #6
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Not a growth, but a deformed beak. I saw this, the other day on one of our female Canivet's Emerald hummers.
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Old Tuesday 17th August 2010, 21:59   #7
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We just found another case in one of our July COLOMBIA Birding trips... endemic Black-backed Thornbill female, at El Dorado lodge feeders (basically first record of this species using the feeders; maybe being sick is the cause?)
saludos, Diego.
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Old Tuesday 17th August 2010, 22:01   #8
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We don't use or offer any feeders here.
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Old Wednesday 10th November 2010, 02:00   #9
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Hummer Health?

I hadn't been paying much attention to the birds coming to the feeder, but did notice "Big Beak", I nicknamed him, but until I took some close up photos I didn't realize what an ugly problem he had. I got a new camera and renewed interesting in the birds and since then have noticed others with symptoms of similar beak problems. I came back to the forum (after a long absence) to see what I could learn and found this thread.

Big Beak was the head honcho of the feeder for quite awhile, but he's gone now and I don't know his fate. The current dominant male is the guy on the bare branch and you can see he's got a problem too, but not as bad. I assembled the animated GIF from shots of another bird and although color fidelity is not as good as the JPG's I edited the sequence is cute and shows this bird also seems to have a slight problem on the underside of it's beak.

I've always felt I take good care of my feeder seeing these birds prompted me to take a much closer look so I disassembled the parts and found "Black Stuff" in the usually hidden nooks and crannys. I used a stiff artist's brush and detergent to clean everything and then soaked it for a few hours in a household bleach solution. After a good rinse it's back in business. I usually nuke to a boil the water for the feeder then along with 1/4C of sugar add three drops of red food color to the bit over a cup it takes to fill it. I know, I know, I read long ago that I shouldn't use the color, but for the four years I've been brewing my own syrup it hasn't seemed to hurt. And, I still doubt it does ... but?

But, what I really worry about is the other feeders in my neighborhood. I've seen many of them in the RV Park I live in. I doubt the folks that tend those are as careful as I am. I'm an old handicapped guy and not a social butterfly so they are strangers and I don't get around much. I decided the best I can do is print these photos and post them in the Park Lodge and hope for the best.

Does anyone recognize or have any idea what the problem is that these birds have. With three birds showing symptoms I'm concerned. There are clean beaks around too, but they are usually chased away from my feeder quickly by the guy on the bare branch.

Any ideas and thoughts will be appreciated.

The new camera by the way is a Canon SX30IS.

Mark

Oops, just discovered the GIF was too large so I picked one other shot of "sleepy" instead.
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