King Parrot - Deformed Beak

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dbm55
dbm55's picture
King Parrot - Deformed Beak

Hi there! We have had this female King Parrot frequenting our backyard feeder for a couple of days now and would like to know if anyone has seen this sort of beak deformity before?

She seems able to eat our seed OK though she throws it around a bit :-)

Thanks,

Don.

WendyK
WendyK's picture

Ooo, poor sweetie.  I would have thought a blunt force trauma but I found this on the web:  http://alaska.usgs.gov/science/biology/landbirds/beak_deformity/index.html

Wendy
Mandurah, WA
Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Site

http://www.flickr.com/photos/girlinoz/

Qyn
Qyn's picture

Sorry to tell you this but that bird has Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) which is a highly contagious viral disease which causes feather loss and beak deformity. Everytime this poor bird tosses seed it is also spreading the virus potentially giving it to other birds feeding in the same location. Despite what you may observe this bird will not be eating properly or enough and will be in poor condition and no doubt suffering. If possible try to catch the bird to arrange for it to be humanely euthanised as it will die slowly of malnutrition and other side effects of this horrible disease. It would also help to aid the other birds who visit your property if you stopped feeding them while this bird is in the vicinity as it may minimise their exposure but no doubt you will see this with other birds due to how contagious this can be.

Sorry for the bad news but at least you know how you can help other birds.

Alison
~~~~~~
"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."

WendyK
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Interesting to know.  Might be worth trying to capture it to minimise the continued risk.  Do wildlife rescue do that sort of thing?

Wendy
Mandurah, WA
Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Site

http://www.flickr.com/photos/girlinoz/

dbm55
dbm55's picture

WendyK wrote:

Interesting to know.  Might be worth trying to capture it to minimise the continued risk.  Do wildlife rescue do that sort of thing?

No, never caught a wild bird. As an amatuer Herpetologist, I've done quite a few snake rescue/relocations but never birds.

Have made some enquiries about this condition with other sources so will keep you all posted.

Thanks, Don.

dbm55
dbm55's picture

Thanks everyone for help.

Alison, seems not to be PBFD as just received reply from Bob Doneley at QU Gatton after sending him pictures. 

Don.

This is not PBFD. Beak changes are only seen in cockatoos. King Parrots with PBFD have untidy feathers, and many of the green feathers turn yellow.

Bob

Bob Doneley BVSc FANZCVS (Avian Medicine) CMAVA

Registered Specialist in Bird Medicine

UQ Veterinary Medical Centre

Building 8156, Main Drive

University of Qld, Gatton 4343

Queensland Australia

He also suggested: 

"If they can catch the bird, I’m happy to look at it. It ‘may’ be treatable, but I suspect it is a bizarre form of cancer – a keratoacanthoma – I have seen one case before, in a budgie."

   
Qyn
Qyn's picture

I am glad to be wrong in this case although I am concerned for the bird in any case. In the bird rehab course I did, we were shown photos of a bird with a very similar beak deformity plus other ones where both the top and bottom beak were overgrown and curled much like the one Wendy's link and PBFD was indicated. Those photos did have a deep impact on me especially when the contagious nature was emphasised as a risk to all parrots especially endangered ones such as the OBP.

However, as stated, it is quite likely those photos were of cockatoos, including galahs. I did not know that the King Parrot presented differently so thanks for that information. It is such a horrible disease that even if it was suspected, euthanasia was recommended. I hope something can be done for this bird as it must be suffering in this condition. Please do let us know the outcome.

Wendy, wildlife rescue groups usually will help with this and capture is slightly easier as the bird is usually weakened and less alert however capture stress can also cause the death of animals so it is important to have a plan and act quickly to minimise stress. Should the bird be captured, a cardboard box containing an old rolled towel for perch support should be used to transport the animal in case it needs to be incinerated after use.

Alison
~~~~~~
"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."

WendyK
WendyK's picture

Thanks Alison.  Handy information to have.

Wendy
Mandurah, WA
Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Site

http://www.flickr.com/photos/girlinoz/

Araminta
Araminta's picture

I would be very happy if Alison was wrong, Although the expert tells us it is not PBFD, and that also might be a bad outcome for the unfortunate King Parrot, there is still something that Alison mentioned, that should be discussed. The fact, that if you love wild birds, and care about their welfare, and want to avoid spreading contagious diseases like PBFD, you should refrain from feeding birds altogether. Feeding stations are the place where all sorts of contagious diseases are spread from one bird to the next. Not only that, they will be transported to the nest, and the next generation will catch them. I know, well-meaning people feed Parrots, and it is very enjoyable to watch birds at your feeder, but really, it would be much healthier for any bird to feed on what they can find in nature. The best solution would be, to plant lots of native vegetation in your garden, and wait for birds to come and indulge.

It would also be a great feeling, to know you are doing the best for the birds to keep them healthy. Good luck to you and the birds.

M-L

Woko
Woko's picture

I support Araminta's approach, dbm55. In fact, I'll go one step further & encourage you to plant those native species which are local to your area. That way you'll be providing as close as possible to the original natural habitat on which your local birds depend. The best feed is a natural feed. You'll also find that your plants will survive with a minimum of attention because they're adapted to the local conditions. And you'll attract a greater range of wildlife, of course.   

dbm55
dbm55's picture

We have lots of natives in back yard which is where King Parrots, Eastern Rosellas, Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly Lorikeets and some other species mainly feed. The bird feeder is primarily for Pigeons and Sparrows and has canary/budgie seed. 

webbzachary38
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have a look on wikipedia seems like there are a thousand birds with a deformed beak:(

so sad to see a king parrot like thatsad

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