Superb Fairy-wrens

To: "Nicci Thompson" <>
Subject: Superb Fairy-wrens
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 18:08:48 +1100

I asked one of our local WIRES carers about this. The closest thing she has
seen to this is the Pox virus which manifests as a growth on the foot and
around the eyes. She has seen this on Magpies and White-winged Choughs and
in those cases the growth was a dark red/grey colour. She said she treats
it with Betadene (of course these were  birds in captivity). I believe
there are several strains of avian pox.

There is also a fungal infection called Bumblefoot which she has seen as a
grey coloured growth, usually under the foot.

If Maria finds another dead bird, perhaps she could arrange for someone to
take it to an avian vet, a university or perhaps a National Parks office
for a more definite identification of the problem.


Carol Probets
Katoomba NSW

Nicci Thompson wrote:
>     I hope someone out there in birding-aus land may  be able to help. I
>am involved with the Birds Australia Atlas Project and on  Friday received
>the following note with Maria's record forms.  I  quote:   "SUPERB WRENS:
>The family of wrens  living in my garden are not in good health.  Some of
>the females have a  kind of orange growth on their toes.  At present, in
>the family of 11  females and 1 male, there are 4 showing the growth.  I
>found one dead on  the lawn and was able to inspect the growth at close
>quarters.  It was  almost as big as  a 5c coing and this bird had
>difficulties  in  flying.  There was also some signs on the back of the
>leg joint.  The  big growth looked similar to a flower corm in shape. 
>Most of these growths  are on the fore toes. Question: Could it be
>inbreeding or is it  caused by a virus? Maybe insecticides! Any
>suggestions you could come up with  would be appreciated.    Maria V."    
>I can't help Maria. She doesn't enjoy good  health and is virtually
>confined to her house and garden and is very observant  of the birds that
>visit. She lives right on the banks of the McIntyre Brook  about 10 kms
>west of Inglewood in south-east Queensland. If you do know or can  guess
>what the problem is would you reply to me so I can pass your responses
>onto Maria.  She is not on email.   Thanks in anticipation'  
Nicci Thompson Toowoomba, SE  Queensland.

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