bird rescue

Donny Magpie - A Wild Bird Knows When To Walk Into A Cage

Donny magpie- walks into the cage

 Donny Magpie, our nine month old juvi wild magpie who lives around our yard got himself tied up in knots. We saw him flying about with this huge spaghetti mess dangling from his leg.

As you can see from the pictures above and below, his back claw is bent forward and caught in the string as well making it really painful and uncomfortable.

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Breaking Through The Communication Barrier With Birds

by Francesca Doria (British Columbia)
In spite of all our New Year’s wishes, 2008 hadn’t begun well for my sister and I. Our Mum was bone-marrow transplanted and had been through a hard time, and our cat Émile, that had shared half of our lives with his endless care and reassuring love, was about to die of kidney failure. He had held out to help our mother and the two of us, but now he was wearing out, silently fading away. At the time our mother’s house had been restored, my sister and I had lived in until the inner works had started, so we had to move to our own flat where our mum already dwelt.
While I was staying with our mother and Émile, my sister Paola got back to the big house to tidy up and put in order everything. She immediately called me, informing that there was a jay she was feeding every day on my window sill and a pair of magpies building their nest on the top of our secular magnolia tree.
At first I was thrilled: I had always loved those elegant, intelligent, funny and noisy birds, and that news had surpassed my wish. But being in anxious state of mind, I nearly forgot both magpies and the friendly jay, until I came back home along with our mum, Émile and our other four cats.
The magpies were still at work: the male brought branches and other items, the female observed/examined them carefully, tried them out, sometimes discharged them, and he flew back and forth trying to find the best things to fit.
magpie nest in tree
The jay was still coming, curiously watching the new incomers. There also was a couple of large hooded crows, that were the undisputed owners of that territory, from a bird’s point of view.
We came back home on 4th March 2008: Émile made a huge effort to visit once again all the rooms of the house; although many things had changed dramatically (my sister’s room had a different entrance, one of the bathrooms had been rebuilt and much more) he recognized his house, blessed it and stood with us quietly and warmly as he had always done.
On 16th March he was put to sleep: until that day the sky had been beautifully crystalline and blue, the sun had shone bright, the moon at night was big and white in a starry sky, the sea was stunningly navy blue and glittering with sun sparkling, there were breathtaking sunsets. But that day the sky grew dark, and heavy drops of rain began to fall. They got heavier and heavier, like a machine gun; although I was dazed with grief, I couldn’t help thinking of the poor birds outside, especially the pair of magpies, whose nest was under that torrential rain. The female sat on her eggs and never moved; the male brought her food.
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To Rescue... Or Not To Rescue A Baby Bird?

What should one do when one finds a baby bird and its parents seem nowhere around?

a juvenile pied-butcherbird named Dimpy

The answer depends on many factors and is not as simple as we would like it to be.  Much depends upon the age/stage of the chick, what type of chick it is and the state of the individual bird and whether it is really orphaned or just appears so.

Here are some quick tips:

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Helping Wild Birds Recover From Eye Disease

butcherbird with conjunctivitis Pied butcherbirds are prone to conjunctivitis, much more so than their cousins the grey butcherbirds. According to the experts the problem is quite common in the wild with many species falling victim.  We've seen a currawong and even a crow succumbing to this problem. 

First a crust forms on one eye causing inflammation of the eyelid and eye.  If left untreated, it can spread to the other eye as well.  The bird can't open its eyes and can't find food and so slowly starves to death. He/she can't see where it's flying and can crash into trees, buildings and other objects injuring itself badly in the process.  Nor can the bird get to safety out of the way of predators. The disease can even cause the bird to go irrecoverably blind.

Butchie (left) got a very bad attack a few years ago and lost sight in both eyes.  Vets will not treat a bird they can't see so there was little we could do to help.  Her son had got a milder attack before and we had treated it with a general antibiotic and vitamins and he fully recovered in two weeks.  But these did not work on Butchie and we had no way of trapping her.  All the other birds understood. 

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