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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Doria Sharpe

Charlotte, NC, USA


Angry male house finch (with possible eye disease) attempting to displace a male northern cardinal. It was briefly successful where as the cardinal came right back and the finch flew off.



Squabble At The Feeder

3 replies on “Squabble at the feeder”

We had an abundance’s if House Finches this summer. The females developed conjunctivitis- so we did everything required. No males ever showed up with it. Today August 2, 2018, I photographed a Northern Male Cardinal with eye disease.

Lila Kirkwood says:

We live in Portland, ME and have seen this diseased Cardinal at our birdfeeder several mornings this week. He has a blackened head and a bulging eyes. This morning, a female bird that may be his mate was there, also somewhat infected. Earlier in the week, our diseased Cardinal was with another female Cardinal in our lilac bush briefly; the male flew to the feeder, the mate was diverted to the nearby fence and they both flew off, Photos also available.

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Lila, is it possible your cardinal had a bald head? Cardinals have black skin, and occasionally molt all of their head feathers at once. It could be that your bird is simply molting – the best way to tell is to wait a few weeks, when its feathers should start growing back in. If the black skin of the head has some sort of discoloration or growths on it, then that could be caused by a variety of things – it could be disease, yes, but it could also be mites or a nutritional or other environmental factor. You can learn more about bald birds here.

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