asbostaff's picture

Magpie - sick or moulting?

Observed: 17th September 2012 By: asbostaffasbostaff’s reputation in Birdsasbostaff’s reputation in Birdsasbostaff’s reputation in Birds

Many magpies round here seem to have small, misshapen heads. Is it sickness or are they just moulting?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Magpie (Pica pica) interacts


ophrys's picture


This is not normal moult, certainly. Normal moult is staggered so that the feathers are replaced a few at a time across each feather tract. In this bird the whole head is being replaced at the same time, which is abnormal. The head is normal size, of course, but looks small when all the feathers are gone. Various stresses can make this happen,so hard to say why this one is as it is, really.


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