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Luck, WI, USA
Towards the end of January, when I looked at the bird feeder, I noticed that one of our chickadees had lost his tail! It was completely gone, every last feather. Shorty, as we called him, seemed to fly well enough without it – as he would need to do to survive our frigid Wisconsin winter – but he looked quite comical. I wondered if he could grow a new tail right away or if he would have to carry on without until normal molting time. My question was soon answered. By the first week of February I spotted Shorty sporting a new set of miniature tail feathers, all completely white and spread out like a fan. Now, midway through the month Shorty’s emergency tail is about 2 inches long and I’ve changed his name to Whitetail. I caught this picture of him waiting at the bird feeder a few days ago. He looks pretty dapper with his new white tail, don’t you think?
Category 8: Eyewitness
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