**warning: graphic photos at the bottom of this post!
Bird rehabbers have been battling for years the idea of putting things like hair, string, yarn, etc…out as nesting material for birds. Another perfect example of why that is a horrible idea. Two mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) chicks brought to us last night. One dead, one alive (cat found them, but that is a whole different conversation). Tied together at the knee by some kind of string. Lower leg completely dead. Had to be euthanized for a few different reasons. By permit, any bird that has to have a leg amputated has to be euthanized. We have no say in that matter. One legged birds develop all kinds of problems. Yes, we have seen one legged birds in the wild too.
Anywho… If you must put something out as nesting material for birds, use grasses, hay, etc… makes a much better and safer solution. Plus it’s natural, and in most cases free!
Fun fact: the mockingbird is the state bird of Texas (1927), Florida (1927), Arkansas(1929), Tennessee (1934), Mississippi (1944), and is the former state bird of South Carolina (1939-1948).
Was just over a week ago we made a post about Easter animals. Well, it’s already begun. Two of these were surrendered unwanted gift pets (mallard and pekin), two others were found roaming around. Suspect released pets (pekin and crested [poof ball on head]). Please do not buy animals as pets unless you know for certain that person actually wants one.
Let’s talk for a second about something that happens
throughout the year. But even more so coming up in a few months. Easter and pet
ducks. We have taken in a few lately from people that did not realize that
ducks do not make good house pets… yes, indoor ducks.
Ducks are messy,
eat a lot, and make noise. They poop a lot and love their water. They have a
varied diet and can not just be fed “bird food”. We see a bunch every
year with what is called “angel wing”.
is caused by improper diet and causes the wings to form misshapen and they
turn at the joint in the wing. This causes the bird to not be able to fly.
Number one food that causes this is bread! Never feed ducks, geese, or other birds
Yes, we will be the
first to admit that baby ducks are adorable. But what happens a lot is people
get these ducks, realize after a couple of months that it was a bad choice,
then they start frantically looking for a place to take their ducks to. You
know all those nonnative ducks you see at your local parks, ponds, etc…
Yep, those cool
looking Muscovy ducks are not native to the US except for three counties in far
south Texas. Everywhere else they are considered invasive. Pet ducks are to
Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) that came in the other day. Broken wing and very thin. Cooper’s hawks are normally the hawks that come feed at people’s bird feeders. They have really adapted to city life.
Took in a female red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) that somebody shot in Hunt county. It is illegal to shoot migratory birds, except those with a hunting season during said season. This bird was shot in somebody’s yard, while their children were outside playing in the yard. Shooter pulled over and shot this bird with a rifle from the inside of their vehicle. Vehicle involved was identified but unfortunately no license plate information available. Information has been turned over to US Fish and Game, local Game Warden, and Sheriff’s office.
A HUGE thank you goes out to the home owners and the Hunt County Scanner Facebook page and it’s owners for arranging to get this bird to us. It was an interesting night in the rain. Bird has been to our rehab vet and x-rays were done. We are optimistic this bird will make a full recovery and can be returned to the wild.
EDIT: For those wondering, the bird has a hood on its head to help keep it calm while we are examining it. Hoods are traditionally used for falconry birds, which is a cultural heritage that has been around more than 4,000 years, for that same reason. We have a wide variety of sizes, and these hoods are made a millimeter apart in size.
Mario & Brandi Nickerson have dedicated their lives to the care and well being of all of Nature's creatures. Their tireless efforts go a long way to rehabbing various reptiles and many other types of wildlife.