Young apparently injured magpie

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a's picture
Young apparently injured magpie

We have had a magpie pair living around our area for years, with various offspring over time. Now we have a lone young bird, who seems to have some wing injury. One wing seems lower than the other when he walks around. We recently have got a young puppy, who often chases it. the response is to cry out and run, only flying to the fence top at the last minute. He seems to get around though, as I've seen him fairly high in a pine being harrased by mynors. Will he survive like this and where have the parenst gone? They haven't been around for weeks, I realise now. Could they have all been attacked by cats? I've seen no obvious signs of adult bird parts! Is there anyone who specialises in catching and attempting to rehabilitate birds like this, or should we just keep an eye out for him. There are plenty of holes in the ground that look like he's been digging, although it could be the blackbirds we have here too! We live in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne. 

Qyn's picture

It might be better posting in the bird rescue rehabilitation area as not all rescuers or wildlife people will see your post here.

IME, if he is getting around and feeding himself he has a reasonable chance of survival especially if he can fly (there was a female magpie around this area who survived for a number of years (even though she could not fly) as she was able to get herself to a safe roosting spot but I have not seen her recently and I think that is because a number of the trees she used to climb into have been removed and unfortunately we do get a lot of roaming cats and foxes in this area. Magpies (and most other birds) are difficult to catch if they are mobile without luck or using a trap which can also result in injury to the bird due to fright even if done by an experienced rescuer. The survival rate of young birds is not meant to be very high but that is nature's way of regulating populations to meet habit and food resources. Even though it is in our nature to want to help, please do not be tempted to supplementaty feed this bird as this may upset that balance which is not the best thing.

In Victoria, injured wildlife if brought into care is assessed and if appropriate rehabilitated however if deemed unable to survive normally due to unfixable injuries or on humane grounds will be euthanised in accordance with the rules devised by DSE (or DWELP as they are now known).  :(  While it is possible the parents have been killed by cats, foxes, poison or on the road, it is still possible they are around and watching their young from a distance to encourage independence. We have resident magpies and while they are currently feeding their latest young they do forage over a wide area and I sometimes don't see them for a few days at a time!

Honestly, I would leave the bird alone to survive as best he can. Plus, I would recommend discouraging your dog from chasing the bird as chased magpies (if they survive) are more likely to swoop dogs in the future! Another advantage is that it is lovely to be able to take a trained dog anywhere knowing they will not harrass wildlife or other creatures and it makes life easier for all concerned.

Thank you for caring! :)

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

mikegroome@optu...'s picture

Thanks Alison. Certainly won't be encouraging bird chasing!


Woko's picture

Nice one, Qyn.

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