Dishevelled

Looking tatty - has something had a go at him?

It’s been a few days since I last saw my favourite blackcock in the shepherd’s garden, and when he appeared today, I see that he has a large ruffle in his feathers as if he has been knocked or bumped somehow. I’ve often seen birds with this sort of break in the continuity of their contour feathers, but it has never really occurred to me to think about what causes it. It could be that it was just the way he was standing, but the gap in the black leaves an inch-wide strip of grey down sticking out rather conspicuously.

He appears to be totally unfazed and is in good health, but I wonder whether he has really recovered from his brush with the goshawk. Any suggestions as to what could have happened are very welcome.

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