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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Leigh Segel

Davis, California, United States


I first noticed this bird at one of our feeders yesterday (January 4, 2016). He returned to feed today and so I took his picture. He seems to be able to eat normally, despite having a large horn-like growth protruding from the top of his beak. This is the best photo I could get because everything is in the shade, but I think it shows the growth fairly well, especially if you zoom in on his beak.




Male House Finch With A “horn-like” Growth On His Beak

Male house finch with a "horn-like" growth on his beak.

6 replies on “Male house finch with a “horn-like” growth on his beak”

Sarah says:

I am in Texas and there is a female house finch at my feeder who has some growth on her beak as well. She eats normally with the others every day. One time she had her beak wide open for a male and it appeared he was trying to pull something out her mouth because for about 20 seconds he was doing that. She flys around kind of goofy sometimes though, running into my window. Such a sweet little bird.

Steve says:

Are these growths/tumors common for the house finches? I have seen three with growths on their head and beak areas and one with a growth on her foot. It seems to be isolated to the purple finches and not affecting other birds in the area. Could it be something else like a worm or fly larva?

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Steve, Growths can be caused by several different things. This bird may have Avian Pox – we advise cleaning your feeders weekly to bi-weekly with a bleach solution to help prevent the spread of this disease to other birds at your feeder. Take a look at our Sick Birds and Bird Diseases page to learn more about diseases and cleaning techniques.

CCCollo says:

I just saw a finch at my feeder with a bump on top of their beak. Very disturbing and rather hard to disinfect everything so it doesn’t spread. I clean regularly but seems impossible to be able to prevent anything from spreading if it’s contagious.

kathy beliveau says:

I now have a finch with a growth but a month ago had a mourning dove with a large growth on beak. Came regularly and seemed to eat well but began looking scruffy. Saw it one morning and then again about noon, but lump was gone and there was a sl reddened area top of beak near left eye

I just saw a hairy woodpecker on the suet which had a slender long beak like growth on its head above the beak. Unicorn type growth. What would cause this?

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