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Resized Black-capped Chickadee with lower elongated and upper curved beak

Detailed Description

A Black-capped Chickadee with a severely deformed beak where the upper beak is elongated and curved down while the lower beak is elongated and straight. Over the past 20 years, Alaskans have witnessed a startling increase of beak deformities among Black-capped Chickadees and other species of resident birds. This disease, called avian keratin disorder (AKD), is characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth and other abnormalities of keratinized tissues. Affected birds have difficulty feeding and preening and may suffer high rates of mortality.



Public Domain.

U.S. Geological Survey