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Old 08-06-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
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Default 'Feather-eating bugs' dull birds

'Feather-eating bugs' dull birds
Matt Walker
Editor, Earth News
Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 10:33 UK

BBC - Earth News - 'Feather-eating bugs' dull birds
excerpt from above:
Brightly coloured birds can become infected with bacteria that eat their feathers.

That in turn can affect the health of the birds and dull their plumage.
The discovery comes from a study that found that 99% of all Eastern bluebirds surveyed in Virginia, US were infected with feather-degrading bacteria.

Such bacteria were first discovered a decade ago, but the latest research is the best evidence yet that the bugs affect the colour and health of birds.

"Feather-degrading bacteria are relatively new to ornithologists," says Alex Gunderson of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, US.
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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