Polyfolliculosis in black-winged kite Elanus caeruleus?

on 11th July 2023

The nesting of Black-winged Kites, Elanus caeruleus at Marina Bay, Singapore had enthralled photographers for some years now. Recently, Jeremiah Loei visited the kite family and documented a juvenile taking off. The You-tube video below exposed two extra large feathers on each side of the axillla (armpit) areas. The feathers appear to grow from follicles close to each other or from the same follicle. If it is the latter, then it is a case of polyfolliculosis, that is, multiple feathers emerge from one follicle. They are known to form on any part of the body but tend to form around areas like the neck, thigh and tail. The condition makes the area intensely itchy. The cause of this condition could be viral or protozoan infections or a genetic aberration. The condition is known to be common in lovebirds, parakeets and cockatiels – pet birds. Read this post.

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