I've got a bird with an attitude

  TopCat® 14:52 20 May 2007

and I need your help if possible. No, it's not the wife, thank you very much! :o) It is actually a very friendly male blackbird that first came to our garden about four years ago and was very noticeable as it had half its top beak missing.

From day one we noticed his unusual attitude, where he would stand legs apart and bend his head right down to his chest and appear to be looking between his legs. Last year there was no sign of him at all, but he finally returned about a week ago.

We were quite shocked at his appearance; he has lost all his tail-feathers and now looks more like a moor-hen. He still has the attitude but now he is pecking gently at his chest, but can't seem to grab anything because of the beak problem. I also think that because of the missing tail-feathers he's lost the ability to fly now.

He seems perky enough and with some difficulty manages to pick up and scoff sultanas we put out each day. He also readily asserts a pecking order when other blackbirds fly down to feed. I am hoping some budding veterinary out there might give us some idea of what, if anything, we can do to help it, please. TC.

  g0slp 15:02 20 May 2007

That's another attention-grabbing title, TC!

  [email protected] 15:11 20 May 2007

we used to have a resident barn owl living in our car port (till i drove my car through the back of it)
he seems, er a little poorly, he or she cant fly or eat properly, i think there is something you could do to help it but you may not want to hear it!
btw what do you call a fly with no wings?

a walk!!

  TopCat® 21:44 20 May 2007

I've found out that a feather mite could be causing the feather loss, so will speak with a local veterinary tomorrow. If I need to apply any treatment then it may be difficult and harmful to net the little fellow. Being a wild bird it could be highly stressed out by capture and possibly die, but I only want to help the little fella if I can.

I'll listen to the vet's advice and post back any news I have later. TC.

  laurie53 22:37 20 May 2007

Unlikely to die of shock in short doses. Best way to capture it for an amateur is to throw a tea towel or similar over it, something light anyway.

If you have to keep it some time, e.g. overnight, a small closed box in a quiet corner is best.

Don't use a cage - the bird will batter itself to death trying to get out.

  TopCat® 00:18 21 May 2007

Thank you for the tips. TC.

  WhiteTruckMan 00:25 21 May 2007

Try talking to the rspca. They may have other advice to give as well.


  [email protected] 00:52 21 May 2007

i feel a little bad about my lighthearted post now, sorry if it offended anyone.

  Cymro. 10:34 21 May 2007

Your first post was spot on, so no need to apologise for anything. Some people are just so obsessed with animals. It is me who should say no more.

  TopCat® 13:27 21 May 2007

I had to catch and take the little fella to the vet. He is so friendly that catching him was a breeze when he hopped into the conservatory this morning.

Sure enough it is very heavily infested with these mites and the vet told me they needed to keep it there for a few days, as treatment had to continue to eradicate both the mites and their egg larva.

The prognosis is good in that he tells me the bird should recover alright and its missing plumage should grow back again after the next moult. So, it looks like a happy ending after all, apart from his bill of course. Still, that's just another item to add to the food bill we incur feeding all the great variety of birds that come every day into our large garden. Wouldn't be the same without them. :o) TC.

  p;3 13:36 21 May 2007

I have no idea of where you live but this charity based in Leatherhead , Surrey and has regular programs on tv click here

is a definite lifeline for sick and injured wildelife; if you watch the program you can see the fantastic work the volunteers do to help the animals ; you MIGHT wish to contact them too?

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