Naughty Hooded Crow

Mute swan

This short videoclip shows a fascinating encounter between a rather naughty and very persistent hooded crow and a juvenile mute swan. Neither the victim nor a nearby adult bird, presumably a parent of the young swan, seem to be too much annoyed by the antics of the crow, who repeatedly pulls the tail or tries to get hold of some wing feathers.

Rook Isla

Rook Isla

Isla joined us recently at nestling age after being rescued by well-meaning but inexperienced people. We do not know a lot about Isla’s story other than that she has been found as a presumed orphan. We understand that the carer struggled increasingly to raise Isla. After about two weeks they gave up and brought Isla eventually to a local bird rescue, who recognised immediately that Isla was in great trouble. Subsequently, we have been asked to take over Isla’s longterm care and rehabilitation, which we did.

Juvenile Rook Isla
Rook Isla after her first bath

Coexistence of Multiple Health Conditions

After a thorough assessment we found that Isla showed signs of a septicaemia with undulating temperatures. She also demonstrated extensive soft tissue swellings involving hock, ankle and foot joints. Interestingly, Isla’s wing joints were completely preserved. Both very swollen hock joints showed already several small pressure sores. Additionally, obscured by the marked joint swelling, we also noticed an unusual deformity of Isla’s right-sided hock joint and foot, which rather looked like a traumatic injury than a congenital deformity or simple involvement by the coexisting inflammatory joint disease. It was difficult to ascertain the exact pathology due to the severity of joint and soft tissue swelling. However, careful physical examination showed a lack of sensation and power in the injured foot, which made it likely that a trauma has caused at least part of the hock joint swelling, having also lead to a nerve injury. Also, it seemed very likely that Isla has suffered a spinal contusion, as she showed a slight weakness in both legs, whilst both hip joints remained unaffected by joint infection and lack of power. Not unexpected in Isla’s case, as her immune system was clearly overwhelmed, we found her suffering of an external and internal parasite infestation.

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Nesting Season – Spring Wildlife Advice

As this year’s nesting season is already in full swing, it seems appropriate to address some common problems wildlife rescues and rehabbers encounter every year. Most importantly it is worth noting that due to the small size of our sanctuary and our work commitments we are unable to attend wildlife rescues or to give timely social media, email or telephone advice in ongoing emergency or rescue situations.

Starling
Juvenile starling

However, if you have a question regarding bird or specifically corvid rescue, care or rehabilitation, then please check out our Corvid Care page or alternatively go to our FAQ section. Both sources contain a multitude of information about wildlife and bird emergencies in general and will also give detailed information referring specifically to corvids. For your convenience we have provided a few especially important links here in this blog post. These links will give you access to blog posts containing essential pieces of information about who to rescue and who to leave alone and how to recognise and catch a poorly or sick bird. Furthermore, these links will also provide you with detailed information about general life saving first aid measures focussing in particular on injuries inflicted by freely roaming unsupervised pet cats, which will save lives and will increase chances of survival aimed to bridge the time gap until a patient is being handed over into the care of an experienced wildlife rescue or rehabber.

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In Memory of Magpie Sophie

Magpie Luca

We would like to use this opportunity to give our condolences to Sophie’s family. We would also like to thank Sophie’s family and carer for all the hard work they did and for taking good care of Sophie, enabling so many people to become part of Sophie’s life. Last but not least we would like to thank Sophie’s family for nominating us as a worthy cause to support and for all the subsequent kind and generous donations, which are greatly appreciated by us and the birds in our corvid sanctuary.

Twitter account of Sophie The Magpie

Magpies exploring the garden
Magpies exploring the garden

Sophie has been an ambassador in a world, where animals are mostly regarded as objects or possessions, where magpies and many other animal species did not make it into the worthy group of animals enjoying preferential consideration and treatment. Also, many people often think of a species as a large body of ‘others’. Sophie has helped people to understand, that a species is made up of unique beings, as she gave us the opportunity to get to know her as an individual, a sentient being, not any different to animals humans tend to love and admire more frequently, such as dogs or parrots. Please do not forget, the next magpie you see in the woods or in the garden is an individual like Sophie. She made us realise that every individual of a species matters, and without any doubt, Sophie did.

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