Yellow-crowned Euphonia

Not all is good in the bird world

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When looking at and photographing the incredible beautiful birds we see in the subtropics, it is easy to forget that these birds face, literally, life and death struggles daily. Many predators lurk both on the ground and in the air. However, probably the most dangerous thing these birds face are disease and parasites. This bird, a Yellow-crowned Euphonia immature female, has ticks attached to her eyelids and face. We see this commonly; the ticks seem to prefer the bare skin around the eyes and beak. I am sure, that in limited numbers, the ticks do not pose a major threat to the birds, but the ticks do carry deadly diseases that are a major threat. Difficult to measure, but there has to be a toll on the overall health of the birds as a result. This shot was taken in the Tapir Valley Reserve in Costa Rica. This image was cropped heavily from the R and bottom to remove distracting elements. BG was darkened and moss on limb had saturation brought up.

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