Monday, January 21, 2013
Chaffinch with a poorly leg ...
This chaffinch with a swollen, deformed leg has been hanging around the bird table all day. For comparison, the bird below has a normal leg. The deformity is probably caused by tiny mites called Knemidocoptes, that burrow into the leg and cause symptoms similar to scabies in mammals, although chaffinch leg deformities can also be cause by a virus and a fungus.
There is an image of the Knemidocoptes mite here.
This weather makes life tough for healthy birds, so it must be especially difficult for an ailing one.