White Cockatoo dilemma.

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Karen
Karen's picture
White Cockatoo dilemma.

This bird came in to a friend's at Mt. Cotton some years ago.  We didn't try to interfere at the time, but now a second bird has come in, and it is in a similar condition.  Am sure it isn't the same bird, but could be wrong.  What could have happened to leave the birds in this condition?  And should we try to capture it and get it vet help?

Picture 1 was taken in 2009

Picture 2 was taken this week

---
---'s picture

Probably the common "Psittacine beak and feather disease"

Karen
Karen's picture

Does this affect wild birds then, and presuming we could even catch the bird, is there anything can be done for it?

Karen
Brisbane southside.

thick_knee
thick_knee's picture

Killing with kindness?

Canberra truly is the Bush Capital, with an enormous range of native animals on our doorstep. We have a vast range of birdlife, from small finches to majestic wedge tailed eagles, and observing them in our backyards and our parks is a pleasure that most Canberran’s can enjoy on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, many residents try to attract native birds to their yard by providing food or setting up feeding stations. This kind of interaction with wildlife can prove deadly to the animal in more ways than one:

• Animals may come to rely on your unnatural food source, and therefore lose the ability to forage on their own
• Large flocks of birds will gather to feed and birds like cockatoos can be quite destructive and disruptive
• Feeding stations can quickly become breeding grounds for disease

All types of parrots including galahs, rosellas, corellas, and cockatoos can be affected by psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD).

sick cockatoo

Psittacine beak and feather disease is a debilitating disease. It is highly contagious and can be spread through feather dust and faeces. It is comparable to the human AIDS virus as it suppresses the immune system. The disease fighting ability of the birds is compromised and any small illness could prove fatal.

The side effects of PBFD include deformed feather growth which leads to baldness, and beak and nail overgrowth. The beak of a diseased bird can grow so long that the bird can no longer feed itself, meaning that it will eventually starve to death.

deformed beak

Birds may exhibit some or all of the symptoms of PBFD such as baldness, overgrown beak, severe weight loss, and the inability to fly. At the point where the birds are no longer able to fly, the disease has completely taken over and starvation is likely to follow shortly afterward. At this point, birds are also very vulnerable to predators.

Please help stop the spread of this terrible disease by ceasing to use feeding stations. Rather than providing food for native birds, instead allow them to exhibit their natural foraging behaviours by planting native plants in your yard.

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Patrik

Karen
Karen's picture

Thank you.  Will pass this on as reading material and info.  Doesn't look like this bird can be helped even if we could catch it.  So very sad to see a bird in this condition.

Karen
Brisbane southside.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

This disease process is also transmittable to humans (zoonosis). Most human cases are from domestic pets or workers who are in contact with birds a lot (poultry farmers, pet shop workers and zoo keepers). It is unlikley, but possible to be transmitted from wild birds directly to humans. I have in my 28 years as a Paramedic seen only 1 case of Avian Psittacosis, which was diagnosed largely due to the fact we indicated the patient was a pigeon fancier, otherwise it may have been missed and treated as any other respiratory tract infection.

It presents as a respiratory tract infection, which can lead to pneumonia. It can be fatal to susceptible humans (elderly, young, immuno-compromised patients)

Below is a link to a web article, which makes interesting reading.

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Psittacosis.htm

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Karen
Karen's picture

Thank you, that does make interesting reading. 

Karen
Brisbane southside.

thick_knee
thick_knee's picture

Thanks dwatsonbb, this should make everyone think !!

Patrik

Woko
Woko's picture

I certainly echo the idea of planting native plants (particularly indigenous plants) to feed birds instead of putting them at risk of disease through artificial feeding. As well, feeding stations take birds away from their natural function of pollination & seed distribution.

Karen
Karen's picture

The question of whether people should feed birds has been discussed over and over, and is not the discussion I was after.  My concern was if this particular bird could be helped by a vet if it could be caught, or is it too late for this bird.

Karen
Brisbane southside.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

That bird is most probably beyond help, it needs to be caught asessed and humanely euthanised if indeed PBFD is confirmed, in order to help prevent spread to other specimens.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Karen
Karen's picture

Thank you.  That is what I needed to know.  Truth is, he may never come back (its been 4 years since the last one was sighted), but if he did, I didn't know what to advise this person.  The fact that the poor thing might infect others is a worry.

Karen
Brisbane southside.

george
george's picture

 re my request  [general questions biby ] the nieghbor three doors up feeding mostly parrots

 thank you for the detailed photos .and yes there is a few birds that look like the ones in the photos.

 answers my concern on speading deseases.

                                                                    many thanks george

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
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