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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Purdy - our Dirty Birdy



We Found her on a Friday (Nov 19, 2010). Swan Point was fairly limited for species; a few gulls and swans on the water, a Red-tailed Hawk in a tree, a crow flying lazily by. It was an ordinary day for winter birding. But then we saw her, a miserable writhing heap of dirty feathers. It was an American Goldfinch, her neck was twisted a weird angle making her left eye look to the ground.

Picking her up we rushed home where we fed her and gave her water. We set up a temporary home for her in an old mouse cage and named her Purdy after a cartoon character (you can see the cartoon here). She could barely move when we first found her. We thought she wouldn't last the night but she did. Day after day she got better and better.

Visiting our grandparents pet lovebird made her happy and stronger. She was almost fully recovered (flying about easily with her head just barely twisted) and then she had her first crash! One day we woke up to find her looking like she did the first day we found her. But once again, within days, she made a remarkable come back.

Then a week later it happened again. But as always she survived. I want to mention at this point how tame she was. We could hand feed her if we pleased though she preferred the seed bowl where she enjoyed munching on homemade suet, apples, clementines and niger seeds. Every day when we reached into her bird cage (by this time we had replaced the mouse cage with a bird cage) to fill up her water and seed bowl she would watch unfazed from inches away.

Then on the fifteenth of December, thirty minutes after feeding her breakfast, we found her shivering in her water bowl. We removed her from the cold water and put her in a cosy spot to hopefully recover. Twenty five minutes later she was dead.

I suspect that the Purdy got injured when a hawk flew by and and scared her head first into a tree.

At least this interesting little bird's last day's were spent in comfort and warmth.

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