Daily Archives: June 6, 2017

An insect with 8 legs under a fledgling bird’s feathers. What is the insect?

I had this question about a something moving under a fledgling’s ‘s feathers. Can anyone help?

Trisha, My question is about a fledgling that was sitting on a branch about a foot away from me when I was hanging the birdfeeder back in the lilac trees.

It didn’t seem bothered about me being so close and as I watched it I saw a little lump move across its breast under its feathers, then move back again.

I thought a fly popped out then went back under the feathers and move about again. There seemed to be a bald patch at the top of its leg or possibly at the side of its breast so I wondered if there was an injury that I couldn’t see.

There is a local wildlife rescue centre that I decided to take it to after I tried contacting them but unfortunately couldn’t get through. However once I’d picked the bird up a whole host of previously unseen blackbirds started screeching and at the same moment, not a fly but a similar sized flattish crawling insect appeared through the feathers and quickly went back again.

I immediately put the bird down and as I’d taken the precaution of wearing latex gloves, I hoped that I hadn’t transferred any human smells and they will take care of it.

The insect had eight legs I think but I didn’t get much time to count. I’d imagined that mites would be smaller than this but although I’ve tried searching the Internet I haven’t found anything useful. I was wondering if you have any idea what it could be, and if I see this fledgling again, does it need help or is this normal life for blackbirds.
Kind regards,

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I have been asking people and looking on the Internet, but wondered if you could help.