• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Mysterious recurring damage to specific area of flight feathers - Has anyone else experienced this?


Sprinting down the street
For context: Boo does not and (as far as I know) has never plucked or barbered her feathers. Apart from this one spot on her flights, her feathers are in excellent condition.

For additional context: When I first got Boo, she couldn't fly and had pretty serious muscle atrophy in her wings/chest, so it's only in the past year or so that she flies with any regularity, and those are brief flights in a straight line. (Took a long time to reach this point). Often after she flies, a couple of her feathers will be off-kilter and sticking out oddly. This is easily fixed with a quick shake or preen, but they do rub against each other in an unnatural way for those brief times. (I suspect the poking-out feathers are caused by her lack of good muscle tone, so the wing feathers don't lie quite properly along her body).

That brings us to the picture below. This is, I believe, her third molt in a row where several of her flight feathers have thinning and damage in a narrow line about an inch from their base. The damage does not extend the full length of the feather.

The two in the photo were moulted during the night. The top feather shows where the thinning occurs (you can see the pink of the paper peeking through the feather in that little line). The bottom feather had similar thinning, and has actually broken off along that line.

These feathers are from opposite wings, so the damage is unlikely to have been caused by an impact. They are not the same feather on each side, so the issue is affecting more than one feather slot on both sides. It has persisted through a couple molts now, so it's not a one-off occurrence.

Boo does play with molted feathers, but she generally gnaws on the hard ends, or uses them to scratch her head. I've never seen her chew in such a way that this "middle" portion would be targeted to the exclusion of the area surrounding it, and I don't see any sign that she chewed on these particular two feathers.

Her diet is Harrison's pellets, chop, and the occasional bit of egg or fruit or bread as a treat. She also gets sunflower seeds as training treats. She's overdue for her annual checkup, but has always had a clean bill of health and good bloodwork.

Has anyone else seen damage like this? What might be causing it?

Last edited:


Rollerblading along the road
Real Name
Vet check. Blood work to see what's going on. I wouldn't feed her bread and sunflower seeds.