Masked Lapwing, sprained ankle

To: <>, "John Leonard" <>, "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Masked Lapwing, sprained ankle
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 17:56:31 +1100
A ridiculously tame male Magpie-lark we call 'Mud' frequents our place from time to time. Periods of absence include one of around a year. Easily identified as an individual by one displaced wing feather (through several moults), its behaviour, obvious familiarity, (enters the house between our legs) and demanding demeanour (eats cheese not pet mince). On one occasion it appeared after several days absence with one leg totally closed and useless, the other partially immobilised, both badly tangled in fine fibres which could have come from a shag carpet. After a few visits I caught it by hand and my wife cut away the fibres with pointed scissors ignoring its deafening protestations. We did the least bent leg first and that came good by the time we had freed the other. The second leg took longer but could bear its weight within minutes although closed for days. Another of our sins is that we feed a family of Magpies. Last winter the adult male was seriously injured on one side suffering damage to a wing and head. I suspect it was hit by a car while attempting to eject last years young from the territory. It was too sick to eat and barely moved from a secure perch for days. I thought a sick bird was a dead bird and one this sick could not possibly survive. But it did and has produced another youngster. However I doubt that it would without the supplementary food we provide.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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