July 31, 2011


Mornings like this are always encouraging when it comes to the subject of bird injuries. Occasionally birds can get injured during the banding process, sometimes resulting in something like a broken leg. While this is very rare, it is something we think about a lot, doing everything we can to prevent. In the case of a broken leg we treat the injury to the best of our abilities and release the bird back into the wild. It may seem far fetched to assume a one legged bird can survive in the wild, but it does happen and we have recaptured birds with fully healed legs that had once been broken while banding or in the wild.

Today, our first bird was a hermit thrush (second of the summer!). Though it had never been banded before, you can tell in the picture below that this bird's right leg had once been broken, but was is now completely healed, and strong as ever (well, almost). I did however band it on it's left leg, as the crook in it's right may have caused some complications with the band moving freely.

Just now we caught his purple finch! This is a fully healed injury where the bird is missing all of it's leg below it's tarsal joint (essentially below the knee). Not only was this bird doing fine, but it had a brood patch, indicating that it was a breeding female.

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