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Oroville, CA, United States
This spotted towhee’s right eye shows signs of infection similar to what I have been watching for in the finches. So far, all of the finches have appeared to have healthy eyes, but I had seen a similar condition in a California towhee two seasons ago.
Right eye infection/injury
I have a California Towhee with eye infection and poor feather condition. Today another showed up with a similar poor feather condition. I thought ti might be molting but after seeing both with very similar feather loss around the head and shoulder region I am wondering if it is some ailment. Location is San Francisco, CA. Sep 15, 2020
Hi Lorcan, Molting is the most probable cause of messy-looking feathers. Most birds are molting at this time of year. That being said, if one has an eye infection, that could be related to something else. In any case, anytime you see (or suspect you’re seeing) a sick bird, it’s best to take your feeders down and clean them. Cleaning them regularly (every 1-2 weeks) is the best way to prevent disease, even when you see no sick birds. You can learn more about bird diseases and how best to clean your feeders here.
On September 10, 2020 I took pictures of a Spotted Towhee with an issue around its right eye, and just a slight unusual look to the left eye. I have seen it several times in the last 2 weeks, and also had the concern whether it was an infection/ health issue or just temporary molting related. Never saw anything similar in 10 years at this location. Had several batches of towhee families throughout the summer and currently the other 4 or 5 Towhees of assorted sexes and ages regularly in the yard seem fine. Two photos posted at Flickr album link.
On Aug 5, 2023 there was a Spotted Towhee with one eye severely crusted over and the left eye not much better. It was clear that it could not see hardly at all. It allowed me to get within a foot of it, several times. Took several photos which I can send somewhere, but I have no website to share them. I removed the bird feeder and will disinfect. Thinking it best to wait a few days before I put the feeder up again.
FYI, my area is near Prescott Valley, Arizona.
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