Hi from Rocky QLD

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jude_s
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Hi from Rocky QLD

Hi I have just joined the site and find it very helpful and interesting looking forward to sharing stories and problems and getting ideas and help from others about our backyard birds.

Woko
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Hey, Jude. Nice to have you on board. I'm looking foward to your observations, questions, comments, stories about the birds in your backyard.

jude_s
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Thank you..  I have a vairety of birds, currawongs,butcher birds, magpies, peewees, shrikes, lorrekeets and cookaburra as well as crows.  They all come in every day for crumbs and a feed. The magpies and butcher birds sit on back porch and sing to me. Quite often walks into house.  However I did notice yesterday that one of that one  of the butcher birds has lost his top beak and is finding it hard to pick up food. Any idea what would cause this.

Woko
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Jude, loss of the upper beak or mandible can often be due to a bird flying into a window or other stationery object. And this can place the bird at risk of feeding difficulties & subsequent malnutrition.

It's important that our native birds get their natural diet. Most folk get a buzz out of artificially feeding birds but so often what humans think is good for a bird isn't what a bird would naturally acquire from its natural environment. The most helpful way of feeding native birds is to plant the plants that grow naturally in the area where the birds are. These indigenous plants are what the birds have evolved with over many thousands of years & therefore provide the birds with their appropriate nutrition. Planting indigenous plants helps to restore the birds' natural habitat. If you are fortunate enough to have natural habitat for the birds then it's important that it is preserved &, if at all possible, extended.

Attracting birds by artificially feeding them might, I suspect, result in birds being damaged by flying into house windows. Better that the birds spend their time at a safe distance from the house feeding in the trees, shrubs & other native vegetation which is normal for them. This won't guarantee that birds won't occasionally fly into windows but it reduces the risk to some extent.

If you're keen to see the birds up close & personal (which, I suggest, is the motivation for most people who artificially feed them) then investing in a pair of binoculars - assuming you don't already have binoculars - will enable you to still see the birds in detail while reducing their chances of injury

Other causes of injury to the butcher bird might be a struggle to escape a predator such as a cat. Of course, cats are strictly a no-no when it comes to preserving our native birds so if you have any in your neighbourhood it would be important to vigorously discourage them.

If you're concerned about the health of the butcher bird then a discussion with your local wildlife rescue service might be helpful.

Other Birds in Backyarders might have other thoughts about this important matter which you have raised.

HelloBirdy
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Calcium deficiency can cause the beak to break - this can occur if the bird has been getting fed mince, which does not have the nutritional quality of their natural food sources, and the mince has been replacing a core component of their diet

Ryu
Canberra
Aiming for DSLR-quality shots with a bridge camera

jude_s
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thank you HelloBirdy for the comment. As I have been feeding small portions of mince to the currawongs and magpies. The butcher birds do grab some from time to time. Maybe I could add some calcuim supplement to the mince??

HelloBirdy
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While it is best for the birds to be feeding on their natural food sources, if you are going to keep feeding mince, it is better to mix in some calcium powder which can be found at a pet shop for all 3 of those species.

Ryu
Canberra
Aiming for DSLR-quality shots with a bridge camera

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