The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Captain Beaky

wagger

By wagger

30 comments


In spring 2009 we started to be visited by a bluetit with a deformed beak. We didn’t think much of his chances but he seemed to be feeding ok by turning his head to the side so we ensured there was always loose food on the table under the peanut enclosure especially for him. Now in 2010 he is still doing fine though always looks very scruffy as obviously he can’t preen himself – needs a good woman to look after him, lol.

Here he is:

I had a look around the web and there are quite a few instances of this kind of deformity particularly in bluetits. At least we can help this one to stay alive and thrive.

More blog posts by wagger

Previous post: Bedtime reading

Next post: American Indian Butterfly Legend



Comments

 

Amazing...
Well done, Wagger on helping this little bird. :o)

8 Feb, 2010

 

That must have taken you 10 seconds to find that, Terra - how do you do it? lol

8 Feb, 2010

 

aww wagger im almost in tears watching this little bird, how do they manage to eat with such a long beak,, so sad, glad he is doing well, glad he has you to keep him fed wagger ;o))

8 Feb, 2010

 

Oh wow ! He seems to be enjoying lunch. Well done Wagger

8 Feb, 2010

 

He pokes the food around with his long bill until he finds the piece he wants then tips his head to one side to pick it up. If it's too big to eat in one swallow he flies off to a branch where he can peck it from his feet with his beak having free air to move - it's very clever and fascinating to watch. He seems to be having a normal life in spite of his disability.

8 Feb, 2010

 

Ohhh dear :-(((
I wonder if it could be 'operated' on ??
I'm thinking of how they grind rabbits teeth, file deformed donkeys hooves etc. etc. ..... this looks SO sad :-(((

8 Feb, 2010

 

Lovely photo Wagger. I think he would be better off with a bad woman though.

8 Feb, 2010

 

How would you catch him, Louise? I think the shock of that could kill him - best left where he is, he's around every day and doing ok.
I agree, Toto - that's assuming it is a 'he' - could be a 'she' and I don't think she'd be better off with a bad man.

8 Feb, 2010

 

I agree Wagger I am a bad man and bad men are not nice.

8 Feb, 2010

 

LOL

8 Feb, 2010

 

awww what a shame ,but must be ok with it as it is eating...:o(

8 Feb, 2010

 

Well, it's been here for about nine months now, Joanella so hopefully it will continue to be ok.

8 Feb, 2010

 

Fascinating ! Wagger, is it just the upper mandible that's deformed, or both ?

8 Feb, 2010

 

The RSPB/RSPCA have ways of catching them in nets, i've seen it on tv, then they do the surgery and release them back where they were caught.

8 Feb, 2010

 

It's hard to tell, Muddy, if I enlarge the picture it looks as though the main deformity is the upper mandible but the lower looks to be two or three times the normal length. There's a picture of one with badly deformed upper and lower on http://www.shropshirestar.com/2009/03/02/another-freaky-beak/
It seems to be doing so well, Louise it might be best to leave it as it is. It doesn't seem to cause it any distress and it mixes with the other birds ok.

8 Feb, 2010

 

just looked at link wagger, its so sad and something i had never thought about before, isnt life cruel at times

8 Feb, 2010

 

How sad Wagger, mind you I read about one just like that in the paper last year. It said that it coped just as well as its normal beaked friends. I hope your will continue to manage well.

Sandra x

8 Feb, 2010

 

Yes, it is, Sandra. We see it often with people but never really think of it applying to animals - they normally don't survive so we don't see them.
It's coped well so far, Second Sandra to yes, we hope it will continue to do so.

8 Feb, 2010

 

Never imagined or heard of this problem before. So glad you are aware of his difficulties and are on hand to help out. I think you're right that he/she is best left alone if managing to feed and cope.

8 Feb, 2010

 

Amazing photos...and great to see the little bird surviving...I think that with all the variation of foods that people put out to feed birds now there will surely be somehting he can survive on, even if he has to adapt his diet.

8 Feb, 2010

 

We mince peanuts up and crush fatballs so he gets quite a variety. Another one I read about a woman is feeding with fried bread - don't know how balanced that is.

8 Feb, 2010

 

Guess he is not frightened off by your lovely cat? See my latest picture updated of mine taking residence in the bird house!

8 Feb, 2010

 

Oh poor little thing. I wonder if it could be trimmed....you can trim budgie's beaks.
Well, I guess he is just the Cyrano de Bergerac of the birdie world

9 Feb, 2010

 

I've just had a thought! Are you sure it has a deformed beak rather than a deformed body. Everone seems to be assuming that he is a bluetit with a long, curly beak, are you sure that he is not a curlew with an odd body!

9 Feb, 2010

 

Misty is too old to frighten the birds now, Andrea - they treat her with contempt.
Gilli, I think it would be worse for him/her to be caught - he/she copes very well.
Toto, you could have a point - I'll ask him next time I see him, :-))))

9 Feb, 2010

 

Poor little thing but at least your there for him.

9 Feb, 2010

 

Fantastic close-ups !

9 Feb, 2010

 

Yes we are, Clarice and will carry on feeding it - and all the others, lol.
Thanks, TLG - first time I've tried digital zoom on top of optical zoom - works well on top quality.

9 Feb, 2010

 

If you do decide to catch him (though I dont fancy your chances) try to get him dark as quickly as possible. I once caught a bird that had gone a bit mad in a tea shop by throwing my jumper over it. I knew the theory but was still shocked at how they just play dead untill they are back in the sunshine. It stops them hurting themselves.

ps I think its a humming bird with a bad feather day.

14 Feb, 2010

 

Poor thing, not seen anything like it before, as everyone says....at least it has you to watch over it...

28 Feb, 2010

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by wagger

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2009

  • uma
    Uma

    Gardening with friends since
    28 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    23 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    31 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    26 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Jan, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 May, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008