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Submitted By

Stacie Grannum

Kingman, AZ, USA


Malaligned beak with extruded tongue.


Deformed bill

Anna’s Hummingbird Beak Deformity

12 replies on “Anna’s Hummingbird beak deformity”

Kathy Roberts says:

MIT scientist, Stephanie Seneff, believes the epidemic of bird beak deformities is caused by glyphosate in Roundup-treated bird seed, causing the keratin to break down. Roundup is also sprayed on cane and beet sugars, so it would be in hummingbird nectar in feeders. For more info, contact Dr. Seneff: I heard her remarks on this in a video of a presentation she gave on glyphosate.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Kathy, We’ve not heard of any studies linking glyphosate to beak deformities, however biologists in Alaska have been studying bill deformities, also known as Avian Keratin Disorder, for some time. In 2016 a team of researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, University of California San Francisco, and the USGS identified a novel virus that has been linked to Avian Keratin Disorder. You can learn more about their research here.

Stacie Grannum says:

Thank you for the information! I have reported this observation to the USGS Alaska Science Center Beak Deformity and Banded Bird Observation Report.

Diane Concannon says:

Just noticed an Anna’s with what may be a deformed tongue at one of my feeder’s near Woodinville, WA. Could this just be something stuck on her bill? I haven’t seen her feed, just sits on the feeder. I can send a picture.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Diane, Some birds have been known to have beak deformities – often if you see a bird with one, it means they’ve been able to survive until this point so they are likely getting along alright. You can learn more about beak deformities here and about the research that’s being done to study this phenomenon.

Nancy McKinley says:

Another lady on a birdwatching site, has posted a picture of a hummingbird, coming to her feeder, with its toungue hanging out of its beak, to one side. It appears to be healthy otherwise. Can it actually drink from the feeder, or have been hatched with 2 toungues, or surviving some other way ?

Stacie Grannum says:

Hello Nancy, after the photos were taken, I didn’t have any further contact with him and assumed that he might have passed away.

Tamera Honeybourne says:

We have well over 20 Anna hummingbirds at our feeders now, December, and one has shown up with a beak tip deformity. What is unusual about this particular bird is that it will not sit on the perch while drinking. The other birds seem to wonder what the fluttering is all about from this hummer but they still share the feeder quite well together. I will try to see if there is also bone deformity in legs or feet causing it not to perch. Our location is in vineyard country so I am interested in avian poisoning from local chemical spraying.

Jacqueline Matthews says:

Here in California we have had an annas male with a beak deformity at our feeder for almost year. It is very similar to this picture. He is a big larger, rounder, and slower than the rest. Nonetheless he viciously protects his preferred feeder. One of the flower and grate were missing from one side of the feeder when he showed up and her preferred that side. I can get very close to him and clearly see his beak.

I have a photo of a beak abnormality unlike anything I have seen online. Please contact me for the photo if you want to use it – just say I took it in Malibu on this date.

Heidi Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hello Deana, thanks for reaching out! If you are a Project FeederWatch participant, there is an option to submit photos of Unusual Birds/birds with bill deformities on your Data Homepage after signing in. Once you submit the photo, it can be viewed in our Unusual Birds photo gallery.

Kelly Richardson says:

Hi there, We have a hum looks young with a mowhawk of sorts of odd feathers on very top of head. Some look micro long & thin & some protrude like ears. I have been feeding & birder for 20yr & have not seen this before. I have had a Allen male & wondering if this is a Allen juvenile. I would love to share any info or photo if anyone’s hears or seen this.

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