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Dr Chris
Dr Chris, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 702
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS
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Since last autumn a crow has lived on the field outside our

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Since last autumn a crow has lived on the field outside our garden or, in the evenings and nights especially, in a tree in our garden or our neighbour's garden. Currently the bird sleeps in our Labernum tree and is also there at other times of the day. The problem is that, while the crow has grown, it has never been able to fly properly because, it seems, it's wing feathers have not developed properly, especially where there are white feathers. In the last few days this crow has been attacked a few times by a large, presumably male, crow, knocking it off it's branch and onto the grass in the field. Have you any comments or advice?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: No name - it's a wild crow. Age not known.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bird?
Customer: Not at the moment.

Hi, Welcome to Just Answer. I'm Chris, a small animal Vet based in the UK. I will review your question and get back to you ASAP with a response

Thank you for having concern about this crow in your garden. Firstly can it fly at all or is it's flight just limited?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
As I said it's flight is limited

Ok, it does sound like there has been some type of developmental defect here, may an issue with the flight feather development. However that fact that he has survived so long means that he must have adequate flight in order to find food and feed himself, especially over the winter. Unfortunately crows like many other birds will fight for territory and in some cases actually kill each other, it is one of the cruelties of nature sadly. As your crow is obviously weaker then he will be a natural target for others who wish to take over the area.

There are two main ways to consider the situation

1.) It is nature/survival of the fittest, sadly your crow was not really meant to survive and whilst it may be distressing to watch it happens in nature every day.

2.) We can try intervene help the crow if possible, if we choose this option it would involve capturing him and taking him to a vet or other wildlife rehabilitation centre. However from the sounds of it, his problem will not be easily fixed and he may never be able to be released into the wild again. This would mean a life of captivity - something that most rescue organisations will oppose for a wild bird, thus it would probably result in him being put to sleep, however this would prevent him being injured or killed by other crows.

I'm sorry not to be able to paint a happier picture, but that is the best advise I can give you. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know.

Chris

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