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'Feather-eating bugs' dull birds

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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.
 
 

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