Masked Lapwing, sprained ankle

To: "John Leonard" <>, "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Masked Lapwing, sprained ankle
From: "Janine Duffy" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 04:15:55 +0000
Hi John - very interesting!

I saw the same with a Magpie-lark in Port Melbourne. She was limping so badly 
over a week or more, and her general health was declining dramatically, so I 
tried to capture her. I failed. I didn't see her again for a couple of months 
and assumed she had died. Lo and behold, she re-appeared looking 100% - no 
limp, no noticeable damage to the leg. It was definitely the same bird (I have 
all my locals identified)

Twice we have captured local Magpie-larks with string wrapped around their 
feet, removed the string, dabbed with Betadine and released them. Both of them 
have recovered beautifully and incredibly quickly and gone on to live for years 
afterwards. The local male now has another foot problem that is causing a very 
serious limp, but I am feeling reluctant to catch him if he has a chance of 
recovering by himself. It looks like a pox virus - swellings on the digits. 

I am beginning to wonder if birds have a remarkable ability to recover from 
foot and leg injuries?

By the way I am a licensed wildlife foster carer, so all this has been done 

JANINE DUFFY Director Marketing & Research
Email:  Web:
Tel: +61 (0)3 9646 8249 Fax: +61 (0)3 9681 9177 ABN: 72 716 985 505
Sent via Blackberry

-----Original Message-----
From: John Leonard <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 13:27:33 
To: Birding-aus<>; Canberra 
Subject: Masked Lapwing, sprained ankle

I atttend a gym in Canberra and arrive there at opening time several times
a week. This is before dawn and the car-park has lights in it. At this
time, before too many cars turn up, many Common Mynas and Pied Currawongs
frequent this area to feed on insects attracted to the lights. This week a
pair of Masked Lapwings has joined them. On Monday I observed that one of
the MLs was sitting on the ground. When I approached it rose and hobbled
away, looking to have a badly-sprained ankle which buckled every time it
put its foot down. By today, however, it seemed to be in only mild
dicomfort and it could walk almost normally on this leg.

This is the first time I have noted a wild bird injured, and then the same
individual (presumably) apparently recovering.

John Leonard

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