white Magpie

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greggold3's picture
white Magpie

We have been adopted by a flock of magpies who like our backyard/pond environment, they catch worms and insects and steal the fish food pellets we throw on the pond surface by ingenious strategies. One magpie is coloured white and may be sick; can anyone identify what this condition may be from 2 attached photos?  

Lightuningbird's picture

Looks like white paint...but I’m now shaw how the bird could get painted. 

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

AJ Anderson
AJ Anderson's picture

It does actually look like white paint. Probaby toxic to animals.

Where is this? 

Any wildlife rescues near you?

Woko's picture

The bird seems to have been severely dealt with by someone who’s environmental credentials are severely challenged. 

Looks like the left leg is banded. Does the band have any writing on it? 

greggold3's picture

Thanks for the comments:

re the white paint theory, I think its plausible as in this area (Sydneys lower north shore) there is lots of house renovation. However I thought the appearance is not consistent with say accidental contact with the tray of a used paint roller - the legs are too evenly white.

I missed the band appearance of the left leg; I have been looking for this bird and will try to get some better photos. It allows you to get about 1m away and then backs off rapidly, so it will be hard to read anything on a band.

I wondered about albinism, a genetic variant. I thought another possibility was a fungus infection.

If it reappears I will consider calling Bird Rescue.

greggold3's picture

He came back after disappearing for a day, and I tried to get him to hang around to get better photos by feeding some crushed cashews. This caused a bunfight with another 5 magpies that he seemed to be hanging out with, and I noticed he was strong, quick and competitive in the argy bargy over the nuts. Did not seem sick, and appeared normally cautious when approached with the camera. I got a good look at his legs, there is no band. I attach 3 more photos.

dwatsonbb's picture

Agree with the others, looks like paint. In one of your earlier photos, appears to be flaking on the beak, and almost normal in the last series. Unless it is toxic, likely will moult out given some time. So long as it can fly and feed, we can just hope for the best. Keep us posted if you can?

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

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