Beat up, but not out!

Updated 6 months ago
Rescue - 20th October, 2023
Rehabilitation - 21st October, 2023
Release - 6th November, 2023

Rescue

If you could describe a carrion crow as anything, it wouldn't be calm and quiet, but for this particular crow, he was just that, and what a sorry sight it is to see.

Found grounded, when the large corvid arrived he was unable to stand without assistance. From his physical appearance the crow looked pretty beat up, with a swollen forehead and bruises around his eyes.

On further assessment, vet, Marco also discovered bruises around the birds hocks and wing joints but was thankfully, able to move both legs and feet properly, and there were no obvious fractures.

Rehabilitation

These highly intelligent birds can be incredibly territorial. We suspect the crow had been on the receiving end of a territorial dispute and, sadly, come off worse.


Weighing a third less than he should, which explained his quiet and lethargic state, Marco has got him started on some pain relief and antibiotics, before offering him some very welcome fluids and food.

Being so underweight, can often result in birds losing vital muscle mass, which aid in their ability to fly. For this crow his rehabilitation was going to be a long and slow one.

Thankfully, after the first 24hours he was looking a lot brighter, and had a very healthy appetite. He was moved to a bigger pen, where he was able to perform natural foraging behaviours and also had the option of building up his flight.

Usually, when given the space to fly, and once feeling better, most bird patients, specifically corvids, take the opportunity to re-build their flight. But, after six days in care, the crow showed no interest in flying at all, even when approached he would just hop around the bottom of his pen.

To ensure there wasn't anything sinister causing his lack of enthusiasm, our vet team carried out an x-ray, which, frustratingly, provided no reasoning for him not to be flying.

We have previously mentioned the issue of flight confidence in birds, and it seems the crow was very much experiencing a little bit of a self-confidence issue. Still being a little underweight, the crow was given a couple of more days, before he was placed into our large flight aviary and encouraged to move around, that included hoping, but more importantly trying to fly. This movement helped to stretch the birds large wings and in turn his muscles.

The crow was placed into the aviary over a course of a week, and finally, on the 4th time in the aviary the crow finally flew! His overall body condition was improving too, with his chest muscles being more prominent and his overall demeanour being much more crow like.

Currently, the crow has been moved out to the aviary where he continues to gain weight and flight, before he will hopefully be heading back home soon.

Release

Three weeks after arriving in care, this beautiful bird finally got his day of freedom! Check out the video below to see him return to the skies!

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