[Tweeters] Weird in Texas

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Sun May 19 07:15:04 PDT 2013

Jeff, you're absolutely sure that wasn't a Bald Eagle? Everything is so big in Texas that maybe a big bird looks small there. It would have to be an immature if you didn't see a white tail.


On May 18, 2013, at 12:03 PM, tweeters-request at mailman1.u.washington.edu wrote:

> Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 21:56:13 -0700

> From: jeff gibson <gibsondesign at msn.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Weird in Texas

> To: tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID: <BLU178-W153A012CC3BAE2C000C970C9AD0 at phx.gbl>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


> Looking through my field notes from a recent trip to Texas, I came across something I'd already forgotten about that was truly weird.


> I was up early one morning snooping around a birdy tree-lined field, when I spotted a Little Gray Bird actively working through the shrubbery, and low-hanging Pecan branches. The bird was remarkable because it didn't have a head! Of course, being active and all, it really did have a head, but the head was completely featherless from the neck up - the head was so tiny without feathers it was amazing, hardly even noticeable at first glance. The head looked about the size of a pea!


> If you've ever seen an owl skull , for example, you know just how much feathers disguise a birds anatomy. An owls beak is considerably larger than the tip that we typically see sticking out of all their fluff.


> Without head feathers, the head on this little bird looked like an eyeball with a beak attached and not much more. It had to be the most bizarre bird sight I've ever had.


> I never did figure out what the bird was- probably a Carolina Chickadee, which were pretty common in the area - it was mostly gray and nondescript from the neck down. I was so shocked by it's headless appearance I missed other critical details. It was quiet, but otherwise seemed pretty perky as it hunted through the trees and bushes.


> I presume the bird had some sort of disease or bug that caused this. The only thing I've ever seen that came close to this was a Crow on the Everett waterfront last year which had a completely bare neck, but otherwise seemed OK. That was weird too, but the little gray Texan won the Strange Stuff Award in my book.


> Jeff Gibson

> Deep in the Heart of

> Everett Wa

Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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