[CT Birds] Thrasher-like bill on a red-bellied woodpecker?

David F Provencher (Generation - 4) david.f.provencher at dom.com
Mon Jun 29 16:20:01 EDT 2015

Interesting Carol. Bill deformity is uncommon but not all that rare. I've seen a number of variations of it over the years. The woodpecker you photographed must be facing a challenge with such a bill. A normally straight bill allows for the force of hammering to be evenly distributed throughout its structure. A curved (and somewhat twisted?) bill such as this must place unusually stresses on points in its structure, particularly along the lower mandible I should think. I hope she manages a long injury free life. Thanks for posting!


Dave Provencher

-----Original Message-----
From: CTBirds [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Carol Ansel via CTBirds
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2015 2:46 PM
To: Birds CT
Subject: [CT Birds] Thrasher-like bill on a red-bellied woodpecker?

Hi all - 
Been enjoying the plethora of birds on the mulberry tree outside my window. One odd one - I have a family of red-bellied woodpeckers, and the adult female has an oddly curved bill - here’s a link to a couple of pix:
http://www.carolansel.com/p395220844/e4c514ba9 <http://www.carolansel.com/p395220844/e4c514ba9>
http://www.carolansel.com/p395220844/e4c515724 <http://www.carolansel.com/p395220844/e4c515724>

and the male with the more typical bill:
http://www.carolansel.com/p395220844/e4c51b989 <http://www.carolansel.com/p395220844/e4c51b989>

Anyone else ever seen this?

Carol Ansel
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