Let's compare some baby birds found in the wild to their domesticated counterparts.
First up is a set of Western scrub-jays, native to western North America, in their natural habitat. This is how I typically imagine baby birds: giant, gaping beaks, skin stretched tightly over bulbous eyes, optional pinhole eye openings, scrawny necks, and transparent skin.
Photo source: the Register-Guard
Also in our wild lineup are some baby finches sporting crinkly yellow beaks and dubious tufts of down:
Photo source: Boing Boing
Now for the creatures we have invited into our own homes. Eastern Rosella parrots are prized for their brightly colored plumage, of which they give no hint early in life:
Top honors, however, may belong to baby cockatiels, native to Australia but now common household pets throughout the world. Cockatiels are the second most popular companion parrot species (after budgies) and are known for their gentle and sociable natures. This outstanding specimen has been photographed mid-poop:
Photo uploaded by user tamaralynn24
Observe the veiny skull, sealed eyes, wrinkly neck and leg, full crop, arthritic-looking claws, and Chia pet-style down. This is truly the stuff of which dream pets are made.
So who wins the ugliness contest: baby birds in the wild or baby birds at home? Cast your vote in the comments!