Management of Interspecies Interactions in Captivity

Introduction

This blog post is aimed to provide some useful information regarding the potential need for the management of interspecies interactions between different corvid species in captivity. We are frequently being asked, mostly by rehabbers and rescue centres, if and how certain corvid species can be kept together in an aviary environment. This question often becomes of interest due to a reoccurring problem in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation – the lack of available aviary space.

To shed some light onto this topic, one has to consider two different main scenarios. If and how different corvid species can and should be kept together depends on the set goal to be achieved, as there are different considerations to be made. The two main scenarios are rescue, rehabilitation and release opposed to long-term care in a sanctuary like environment. We will discuss and examen both scenarios in this blogpost.

Magpie Luca
Magpie Luca
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Cats, Cars And Wildlife (Republished)

Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 29th May 2018, and has now been updated and republished.

What have cats, cars and wildlife in common? Cats are domesticated companion animals, cars are machines built by humans, and both are able to kill sentient beings when not supervised or controlled. Cars can kill cats and wildlife, and cats can kill wildlife too. Neither of both scenarios is ‘natural’, both are artificial and creations of humans. So what is the impact, and what can be done to keep both, our beloved companion cats and wildlife, safe?

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Why Fireworks Should Be Abolished (Republished)

Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 12th March 2022, and has now been updated and republished.

So called silent firework displays, which are in fact not silent at all, unless they are replaced by laser shows, are increasingly praised as the ultimate solution when it comes to addressing animal welfare concerns. At the first glance silent fireworks seem to be a logical solution, as reduced noise pollution is addressing one of the best known problems in this context. However, as it is commonly the case, there is the bigger picture to consider, and that is where the controversy starts, at least for people who feel very strongly that fireworks are part of their cherished traditions and well deserved rights, and of course for people, who have some sort of financial interest in the business of producing, selling or using fireworks.

Mallard family
Mallard family

Most people would agree that we should not do any intentional harm to other sentient beings, be it directly or indirectly. Fireworks have a proven negative impact onto our shared environment, and are therefore potentially harming other human and non-human animals, who are unlikely to have given consent to being harmed, neither in the short nor in the long term. This simply means that by using any type of firework, intentional harm is being done to others, which is ethically not justifiable. Therefore we could actually stop at this point, but for the sake of the argument, let us look a bit more in detail into the threats and problems caused by fireworks.

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How to Help an Orphaned, Injured or Poorly Bird

Great tit nestlings

Introduction

It is not always easy to tell when wild animals need our help, and when it is best to leave them alone. This blog post and the included flowcharts are thought to be a rough guide for situations where no expert advice and help is at hand immediately. If you have found an orphaned, injured or poorly bird, then please read the guidance provided here in this blog post together with the FLOWCHARTS No1 and No2 and follow the instructions given there.

It is important to note that specific features of hatchlings, nestlings, fledglings and juvenile birds can vary significantly among different species. Each bird species has its own unique characteristics and growth patterns. So, if you are trying to identify a specific bird, it is helpful to consult field guides, online resources or seek expert advice to accurately identify the species based on its distinctive features.

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Identification of Juvenile Rooks and Carrion Crows

Carrion crow Amor
Rook Brambles
Rook Brambles

It is usually not difficult to differentiate between adult rooks (Corvus frugilegus) and carrion crows (Corvus corone). Both species may look similar at the first glance, because both have black feathers that can also look glossy. However, the long pale and pointy beak, with bare skin around its base, is the most striking and characteristic feature of rooks. It is also worth knowing that rooks nest collectively in tall trees, often close to farms or villages, which are known as rookeries. In contrast, carrion crows are fairly solitary and are usually found alone or in pairs, although they may form occasional non-breeding flocks. Unlike rooks, carrion crows do nest solitary, maintaining a large breeding territory centred around the nest.

Carrion crow Chili
Carrion Crow Chili

Additional help and information about how to identify adult corvids including rooks and carrion crows can be found on the British Trust for Ornithology website (BTO).

British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) – Identifying Corvids – Crow, Chough, Jackdaw, Rook and Raven

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