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Sabre Tooth Cockatoo?

By johnboy - 2 November 2012 12

cockatoo

Greg’s sent in this disturbing photograph:

It might be time for another Bird Week photo competition… I’ll kick off with this unusual fella.

He was happy enough and cleared out the bird feeder over the space of an hour.

Got an image of Canberra you want to share with the world? Email it in to images@the-riotact.com .

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Sabre Tooth Cockatoo?
poetix 8:43 pm 02 Nov 12

Masquara said :

Time for a “surgery for ed”-esque fundraiser, following capture by ranger or other avian expert?

If the poor bird can be helped, I would certainly donate something. He (or she) looks like an advertisement for Tusker beer. Very sad.

Masquara 8:07 pm 02 Nov 12

Time for a “surgery for ed”-esque fundraiser, following capture by ranger or other avian expert?

threepaws 5:59 pm 02 Nov 12

gp said :

This guy is a regular at our house. His beak would have grown 5cm over a year. Last year he looked unwell with some missing feathers, but this year appears healthy as can be, albiet with an badly deformed beak. The overgrowth ruffles his cheek feathers but is over the skin.

Like I said, this guy had no problem eating and cleared the (as it turns out) unclean feeding tray.

For the concerned readers, I love the birds visiting and don’t wish to make them unwell. I will give the tray a big scrub this weekend. 🙂

I have seen many birds with beak and feather and, as you say, apart from his beak he looks surprisingly healthy.

There are pros and cons in continuing to feed him – obviously with his beak in that state he is severely compromised and may be unable to feed naturally, or anywhere else but a bird feeder. If you stop feeding him, he may starve to death. If you keep feeding him, he may pass the disease on to other birds that visit. It’s a tough decision!

At least if he is visiting you, you can keep an eye on his health through his general appearance. If you see that he is becoming sicker and having trouble flying, which he eventually will, I think the kindest thing to do would be to capture him with a cardboard box or washing basket and have him put to sleep.

Some may strongly disagree with my last comment, but I truly believe there are worse things than death for an animal, like starving or being eaten alive by a predator.

If you want to keep attracting native birds to your garden, perhaps you could try hanging seed bells (you can find recipes online to make them with terracotta pots, wire hangers, bird seed and egg whites) where the discarded seed is less likely to be picked up by other birds thereby lessening the spread of disease, or even propping grapes or other small pieces of fruit in trees. Put food out randomly so that the birds don’t come to rely on you for food, as it may be a problem if you move away and the next people don’t feed them – the birds may have forgotten how to find their own food – and cockatoos can live for decades 🙂

In this fella’s case, it’s a bit different I guess.

Good on you for keeping an eye on him, and good luck.

gp 3:53 pm 02 Nov 12

This guy is a regular at our house. His beak would have grown 5cm over a year. Last year he looked unwell with some missing feathers, but this year appears healthy as can be, albiet with an badly deformed beak. The overgrowth ruffles his cheek feathers but is over the skin.

Like I said, this guy had no problem eating and cleared the (as it turns out) unclean feeding tray. For the concerned readers, I love the birds visiting and don’t wish to make them unwell. I will give the tray a big scrub this weekend. 🙂

Mysteryman 3:08 pm 02 Nov 12

So body-mods have permeated the avian word? It was only a matter of time.

threepaws 2:26 pm 02 Nov 12

EvanJames said :

When I saw the small version of the photo, I too thought it was Beak and Feather disease. But the larger version suggests the long curly things are coming from its neck? The beak looks normal. And it is clean, and has all its feathers, which beak and feather birds don’t have.

I respectfully disagree. It looks like the upper part of the beak has grown into a semi-circle and is partially obscured by feathers, and the lower part of the beak is well, exactly that.

As mentioned above “Birds may exhibit some or all of the symptoms of PBFD…” and if you have a look at the link to the article there is a photo of one bird with missing feathers and a relatively normal beak, the other is the reverse.

The only way to stop this disease spreading is to stop feeding birds full stop. Unless of course you can guarantee that only one bird will feed at a time and that the feeder will be thoroughly sterilised between each bird…

Poor bird, what a bloody awful disease.

Zeital 2:23 pm 02 Nov 12

EvanJames said :

When I saw the small version of the photo, I too thought it was Beak and Feather disease. But the larger version suggests the long curly things are coming from its neck? The beak looks normal. And it is clean, and has all its feathers, which beak and feather birds don’t have.

how does that look normal to you?

the thing coming out of its neck the the beak, the top beak is SO long its curling up over its eye.

this poor thing needs to get some help asap

EvanJames 1:07 pm 02 Nov 12

When I saw the small version of the photo, I too thought it was Beak and Feather disease. But the larger version suggests the long curly things are coming from its neck? The beak looks normal. And it is clean, and has all its feathers, which beak and feather birds don’t have.

Thumper 11:33 am 02 Nov 12

sarahsarah said :

Greg, please clean out your bird feeder:

http://www.rspca-act.org.au/wildlife/latestnews/killingwithkindness/

I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest you get rid of the feeder all together but you do need to clean it often.

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.

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.

Yep. Keep it clean all the time.

sarahsarah 11:11 am 02 Nov 12

Greg, please clean out your bird feeder:

http://www.rspca-act.org.au/wildlife/latestnews/killingwithkindness/

I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest you get rid of the feeder all together but you do need to clean it often.

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.

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.

Jivrashia 10:34 am 02 Nov 12

A hangover from Halloween?

Tootza 10:10 am 02 Nov 12

That poor bird!

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