I noticed right away that this bird looked different. How can you not notice a bird without a tail?
This house finch has been visiting my feeders (Nyjer and sunflower seeds) for a few days now. Any variety of things could account for his missing tail, but the most likely reason is a close encounter with a predator (cat, hawk, fox, etc.)
I’ve seen house finches with avian conjunctivitis and I even had one get its head stuck in a tube feeder, but I’ve never seen a tail-less house finch before this. Not to worry, though, the feathers will grow back soon.
For the sake of comparison, here’s a “normal” house finch.