Not Emergency but wanting advice on magpie

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Not Emergency but wanting advice on magpie

Hi to all from a new member, I'm just wondering if any of you could give me advice?  

I have a magpie lark that has been visiting my yard for the last few weeks, and I noticed that its legs are tied together and wrapped around with string. I've been feeding it whenever it comes, and recently noticed that the string broke meaning it can now walk, instead of hopping, but one of its claws is severely bent at the side on one leg.    Instead of being in its normal position, the middle, the claw is tied around to the side.  So now the question.  Should I catch it or leave it?  If so, what would be the best method\s?      

If I do catch it, the plan would be to untie its feet, then release it. 

dwatsonbb's picture

Certainly sounds like the little one needs some help. Catching it is you best option, but this may be difficult with a wild bird. If you can get close enough, I would try and use 1. A sheet or blanket to through over it, but you will have to be fairly close and fast, or you may frighten it off.  2. Another option might be to use something like a landing net (what fisherman use to bring fish in). Again you will need to be fairly close. 3. Some sort of trap, attract the bird in with food, and once captured remove the string.

Once caught, you should see if the flesh is starting to grow around the string, if it is, you will possibly need to have a vet take a look. If it is just tangled, then something like a set of nail clippers to remove it would be useful. When attempting to do anything with the bird, if you can cover it's head, particularly the eyes, as this will help relieve stress for the bird.

If you look at the link below, there should be an organisation in your state, which you can call for advice or help. Good luck, and let us know how you go. By the way, most here don't encourage feeding, but this may be the only way to catch this one.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Lachlan's picture

That's awful, Olivia! I hope your Peewee is allright. Good luck for getting the string off or for getting it to a vet!


Under normal circumstances I wouldn't usually feed a wild bird, but as it couldn't walk, I was reguarly throwing it small pieces of dry cat food. 

 Also, it's actually starting to become quite 'tame', and it lets me get quite close to it, which I'd prefer if it stayed as wild as possible, so I have stopped feeding it. It still comes around though.  I'll work on catching it later, and thanks for your help smiley


Once you catch it it will probably be scared off humans again. Definitely catch it before it gets tangled on a branch or something. I saw a noisy mynah that had died after being caught on a branch by string caught around it's feet. It broke my heart thinking of it slowly starving or dying of thirst.

Woko's picture

Was that a Noisy Miner or a Common (or Indian) Mynah, richman?


Noisy Mynah as originally stated. The worst thing was it was in a flowering grevillia about 700mm high (very close to the ground) and hanging upside down by it's feet, half dried out, no obvious signs of damage (apart from an extreme case of death obviously),It was in Sydney Park, St Peters, right next to the car park where hundreds of people come with their dogs and kids every day. Poor little bugger. Ignorant people just don't even see birds.


Yep.  Most don't care.  

I have my doubts I'll be able to catch it.  It always stays just out of reach.  It seems to be doing fine, but the claw is still bent, and so it can't walk normally. 


Still using an old fashioned trap.  The claw is now completely bent under the foot, so he can only hop. 

tanzietiger's picture

I have exactly the same problem with a magpie lark it is so hard to

catch I have been feeding her to get her to come close but she is too fast arrrggg I’m going to go find where to buy a bird trap

Lightuningbird's picture

Had a chicken attack a magpie lark once, must have thorn it was gonna harm her chicks. The lake had a injured wing, not broken but bleeding. Took it inside and patched her up. She was batter in about a week, now you will often see here flying around with a small family. 

But yes, sadly most people don’t take notes of injured bird or animals. I once took my time to help a shingle back lizard, who had become tangled in some netting and was freezing from the cold. Surpriseingly, the lizard was quite tame.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

 and   @birdsinbackyards
                 Subscribe to me on YouTube