[Fwd: Re: [Birding-Aus] Yellow-bellied Sunbird nestlings.]

Subject: [Fwd: Re: [Birding-Aus] Yellow-bellied Sunbird nestlings.]
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:20:14 +1000
Young Song-Thrush and parasitic maggot
--- Begin Message ---
To: Jon Wren <>
Subject: Yellow-bellied Sunbird nestlings.
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:18:06 +1000
Jon Wren wrote:

Gooday all,
Last week a mate of mine contacted me about two dead Yb Sunbirds that he located in a nest adjacent to his house. The reason he was drawn to the nest was the adult birds behaviour. He had been observing the female and the male to a lesser extent coming in regularly to feed the young but the adults seemed agitated and reluctent to enter the nest. On inspection he found the chicks to be dead and two large creamish maggots on the birds body they had made an opening from the birds body. He described it as if the grubs had been inside the chicks and had eaten the way through to the outer body. Not being an entomologist I could only hazard a guess and thought it may be the result of the birds being attacked by a parasitic wasp.
Any help anyone may have on this subject would be gratefully received.
Jon Wren

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  Perhaps what attacked the baby Sunbirds was some form of Blow-fly.
Many years ago my children brought me a nestling - still part bald, with downy fluff emerging. A friend's part-labrador dog had detected a nest in a hedge and had climbed up and devoured the other chicks. We set about feeding it on worms, snails etc as it seemed to be a Blackbird, but it turned out a Song Thrush. A few days after rescue, a large swelling appeared on its still-bald thigh, visibly enlarging - so I made a small incision with a razor-sharp paper-cutter and tweezered out a large grub - it seemed to be a fly larva - and applied antiseptic ointment. The cut healed up in a day or two and the bird seemed to put on speed with growing up. It was fully feathered when it met an unfortunate accidental death by flying into a window, so clearly the surgey did no harm. I wondered what would have happened if I hadn't taken action.
Anthea Fleming

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