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I found an injured magpie fledgling on its back, unable to right itself. I gently turned it a couple of times with no success and ended up bringing her home with me as I couldn’t leave her. I took her to the vet, who confirmed a head injury and felt wing and leg were probably not injured. The vet gave her a steroid injection and advised we feed and care for 24 hours before making a decision whether to euthanise or not. Can you give any advice what to do?

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  • I found an injured magpie fledgling on its back, unable to right itself. I gently turned it a couple of times with no success and ended up bringing her home with me as I couldn’t leave her. I took her to the vet, who confirmed a head injury and felt wing and leg were probably not injured. The vet gave her a steroid injection and advised we feed and care for 24 hours before making a decision whether to euthanise or not. Can you give any advice what to do?

Concussions and contusions can take a long time to fully heal, but if there is progress made within a fortnight, chances are good that the bird becomes releasable again. However, there is always a risk of a relapse, most commonly occurring 72 hours after the accident. I understand that the situation is sort of a compromise, and of course that there is a risk of imprinting. The risk and extent of imprinting is decreasing with increasing age. Problems are later on more related to habituation than imprinting, which can be easier addressed. For further information, please check out the links below.

Corvid Care

First Aid for Birds – Impact Trauma

Some Thoughts About Animal Learning And Imprinting