[Tweeters] Tailess Towhees

Faye McAdams Hands zest4parus at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 12 12:34:16 PDT 2022

Dear Greg and Tweets,

I just found some Junco tail feathers near my front yard ground feeding station -- hopefully evidence that the little fellow escaped without further harm?
I will be looking for any tail-less DEJU these next few days...

Happy Birding,
Faye Hands
Belfair, WA

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From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu> on behalf of Greg Pluth <gjpluth at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 11:42 AM
To: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Tailess Towhees

Tweets -
Over the last few days I've been noticing a male Spotted Towhee with absolutely no tail feathers. I have seen this several times with towhees only over the years. I'm not sure if they were all at this time in the spring. Though I've never heard other birders (or anyone for that matter) discussing it, I'm nearly positive I can't be the only one to have observed it. I also have not seen tailess birds subsequently sprouting new stubby tail feathers. I have conjectured to myself that there may be a cat somewhere with a mouthful of tail feathers, and I can't imagine an April Towhee molting out all tail feathers at once.

Anyone out there knowledgeable on the subject? I'd be interested to know!

Greg Pluth
University Place

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