To: Roger Giller <>
Subject: Corella
From: Mike Owen <>
Date: Sat, 01 Dec 2007 09:23:14 +1000
Looks like it has the viral disease Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease (PBFD). This virus can cause overgrowth of the beak, and poor feather condition, including a dirty look. The virus stops the production of the feather powder that is an essential element in their preening, resulting in the dirty appearance. There is no cure for the virus and it eventually results in death either through liver damage or progressive feather loss meaning the bird loses the ability to fly.

I had a similar looking corella (though grey rather than brown) visiting my garden last year, which eventually I was able to catch as it lost the ability to fly with wing feather loss, and take into a local vet for examination and euthanasing when the disease was confirmed.


Mike Owen
Sunshine Coast  Qld

Roger Giller wrote:
Hi birders,

In August I observed a Corella at Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberly. It was 
sitting alone on the wires where I managed to get a couple of fairly ordinary 
pics. It was a very dirty brown colour, which I believe is a result of feeding 
on the very dusty red/brown ground in the area. (I had previously seen a 
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo in Kakadu with a dark grey belly but it was feeding on 
Pandanus nuts on recently burnt ground)

For this location it should be a Little Corella, but the upper mandible seems to be longer than normal, more like a Long billed Corella. Could this be a deformity that causes the bird to feed in a way that it gets extra dirty? I saw a number of other Corellas in the vicinity, some with a brownish tinge on the chest and belly, but nothing as marked as this bird. I could not get close enough to the others to check the bill.


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