Archive for January 14th, 2011

A few days back I got in a Magpie-lark (otherwise known as a Murray Magpie or Piping Shrike). It was only a chick, and we picked it up from a nearby veterinary clinic. I was a bit nervous about looking after it, as I usually pass them on. These guys are more difficult to look after than Australian Magpies (even though their diet is pretty much the same). This chick was tired but vocal on the way home and called out for food, so I gave gim something to eat. He didn’t take a lot, but I was glad that he had taken something. I was still concerned though, as he spent most of the time dozing.

The next morning he barely took anything at all, and was looking more drowsy than before. Concerned about his well-being, we took him to Minton Farm. Murray Magpies are more difficult to look after, they are rather fussy. I have decided to continue doing what I did before, and pass on any more of these birds that come into my care onto more experienced carers. Australian Magpies I can look after, but these smaller magpies…

I have recently been informed that the little Murray Magpie chick died soon after we dropped him off. Of course, there could be more to it than just the fact that he didn’t eat much. It’s probable that he fell out of the nest (he certainly wasn’t supposed to be out of it yet); therefore he could have sustained an internal injury. Sometimes you just don’t know until it’s too late.

The day after dropping the magpie off, I received an adult Crested Pigeon. The RSPCA officer who brought him had received a call to get a possum out of a flue, so she was surprised to find a pigeon instead…how it got down the chimney I’m not sure (quite possibly fell down). We kept him here for a couple of days for observation (he may have been in a bit of shock). He was going quite well but was raring to leave. Today we released him back into his home territory. As soon as I opened the lid of the basket he took off like a bullet and flew to one of the higher trees. I think it’s safe to say that he was quite relieved to be home and will be alright. I do love these successful rescues. Releasing them back into the wild is the best outcome one can hope for. 🙂

Meanwhile, a young Crimson Rosella was brought to us yesterday. He had been found waterlogged, and so the man that had found him kept him in his car to keep him warm (as he was at work at the time). Once we had the bird in a cage we realized he was looking quite drowsy (he was looking half asleep and his head was drooping), and so I put a light on him and a few towels over the cage.

Over an hour later and his condition hadn’t changed. By now all the vets and animal hospitals were closed for the night, so we called Minton Farm. From the manager we were told to put the Rosella into a shoebox so it was dark (we had a light on him but it was bright and we dont currently have any heat pads), and have a 40w globe on the outside about three inches away so the heat would transfer through the box and keep the bird warm.

We found a box that was about the same length as a shoebox but its sides higher (the Rosella would’ve been too big for the shoeboxes we had); I punctured holes in the top and sides for ventilation, lined the inside with paper, carefully placed the bird inside, closed the lid, and then switched the globe in the desk lamp to a 40w and placed that three or four inches from the box. I then realized that a bit too much light was getting into the box so I placed a thin, oldish tea towel over the light’s side and half the top to make it darker.

I checked on the Rosella about every hour. We didn’t have high hopes for him making it through the night. A lot of birds that receive concussions don’t make it, simply because of internal injuries that can’t be seen. Animals are kept in for observation, and the first 24-48 hours are critical to know their condition. Of course, this Rosella had already had a long, stressful day, and would’ve also been in shock.

I was quite relieved to check on him in the morning and find he was still alive. He still looks rather drowsy and dozes on and off. This morning I gave him some water off a spoon (he drank it) and then transferred him back into the cage. There he went straight for the seed. I noticed that he was still a bit unsteady on his feet, and he seemed to feel for the seed rather than go straight for it. I have noticed that there is a possibility that there may be some blindness in his left eye (it looks rather dull but he keeps it closed most of the time), but I’m not positive at this time.

Today I have given him some medicine. The reason for his drooping his head is that he likely has a headache, so I’m hoping this medicine helps him feel better. Tonight will be another tense one.


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