Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wildlife Wednesday - special cockatoo

We have a naked cockatoo visiting is at the moment. My husband has been "looking after" him over the weekend making sure he has sufficient food and water. I took this photo and then went looking to see what could be wrong with him

PBFD is Psittacine Beak Feather Disease and pretty much looks like this - although it usually has beak deformation too and he doesn't seem to show that, so I'm not 100% sure.

However, if it's PBFD, it's highly contagious amongst parrots and we could end up with any bird visiting us catching this disease.

So the bird feeding will have to stop. I couldn't stand 100s of naked birds in winter.

It's suggested that you catch and euthanise the bird. No way I can get near to this fellow. He may be ill, freezing, and hungry... but he's still a wild bird (with a humongous beak).

Speaking of humongous beaks, I used to be in a Wildlife Rescue group and one day was sent to rescue a cockatoo. They'd shoved him in a budgie cage where he didn't fit too well. Anyway, armed with towel and gloves, I went to retrieve this, by now nasty, cockatoo. A young kid was there watching with his dad. So I get the bird from the bottom of the cage, then before I can put him into my larger cage for transport, he hooks that humongous, hurty beak into that soft tissue on my thumb right at the side of the nail. Young child present, representing my wildlife group, well I grit my teeth and swore a LOT inside my head. I got the bird in the cage but would he let go of my thumb? Not on your life! Then the father says, "Oh, the poor bird, what have you done, there's blood dropping on the cage." Between gritted teeth I smiled and said, "It's not the bird." You know, it took that man a long time to work out I was the one bleeding! The poor bird!! It lived... but I was never a fan!


  1. Sorry. I pity your poor thumb and I hate the thought of you bleeding everywhere but... poor bird!
    I don't like the look of this naked cockatoo either. Is there no hope for him then? The feather's won't grow back if he's looked after?
    I feel cold just looking at him. (I'd better go ogle your book cover again to warm up). :)

    Lily M

    1. From all I've read there's no hope. Well, a vet in Qld says he can cure aviary pets but I don't think wild birds count... and I'm rather loathe to spend days trying to catch them. After I posted this, I noticed another bird with head feathers missing, so I think the virus may be quite prevalent in this wild community - or maybe the sick birds just come here for an easy feed. The easiest thing is to stop drawing them here.

      The virus seems to destroy the feather-growing cells in the birds. It seems when they're thsi bad, there's no hope of recovery.

      Yes, go ogle that cover. Yesterday Escape tweeted a review and they only reviewed the book because of the hot cover LOL. I know I wasn't reading reviews but I assumed it was good if it got retweeted - it wasn't bad but gee, hated the title, hated the blurb, hated first person, I was lucky to get a win on the sexy cover!

      Cate xox