|A Northern Mockingbird without a tail, Riparian Preserve, Gilbert, AZ; 12/26/2011.|
|A nice rear view of no tail on this N. Mockingbird, Riparian Preserve, Gilbert, AZ; 12/26/2011.|
I know that these three incidents are probably purely coincidental, but it's fun to make some wild conjectures:
1. There is a species of Mockingbirds that have no tails, that no one in the ornithological world
2. The N. Mockingbird that I saw last December, is the same one that Marie saw on the
East Coast in March of 2011, and perhaps the same one I saw in Mexico but misidentified it
as a tropical Mockingbird.
3. All Mockingbirds go through a phase in which they lose their tail feathers and they regrow.
Well, as it turns out, I am not the only person who has mentioned tailless Mockingbirds. Below are links to other sites I've located on the Internet that either refer to Mockingbirds without tails and/or have photos:
http://www.idigmygarden.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-19790.html (Read 4th entry down)
http://forums.photographyreview.com/nature-wildlife/extremely-rare-tail-less-variant-agelaius-phoeniceus-56102.html (Scroll down to the 6th entry)
|A Northern Mockingbird with its tail intact, Phoenix, AZ; 12/25/2009.|
1. it is easier for their tails to get caught in something and the feathers get pulled out ...
2. or get caught by a predator (a house cat or fox, etc.) which grabs a hold of the tail,
but the bird escapes leaving its tail behind (no pun intended).
Other causes could be ...
3. genetic in nature, where some key ingredient of the DNA is missing that causes a bird to be
hatched without a tail ( I am no scientist, so I don't know if I even stated that correctly),
4. or from some sort of parasite that infested the nest while the bird was being fledged.
Have fun with your own theories.