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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today is a wet day in London. As you can imagine, the birds are bedraggled and looking a sorry sight. Feeding them at 6:30 p.m. I noticed one struggling and walked up to it thinking it was waterlogged. That is when I noticed the injury.

Along its back on its right side and under the wing there is a wound. Although it is not bleeding, it looks like there is a puncture to the flesh. How deep I can't say. Whether the wound is from today or an earlier time, I'm not sure.

Apart from its sorry-state it appears to be taking short gulps with its head lifting as it does so. My immediate concern is to get the bird dried out. I have it in a translucent storage container (which I often use as a makeshift reception) and the bird is settled on soft fabric.

I have placed the container on an oil filled radiator and the heat will percolate through without burning the bird. The container is ventilated. I can't do much tonight except make the bird comfortable and monitor its progress. It was feeding and I shall see if it takes water. At this time I wan't it to settle before applying medication.

It may not make it through the night if the wound is critical. It is not infected and does not smell. The photos I took were useless given the poor light. I'm blaming this on a gull. I noticed this morning a clump of feathers but no carcass which means the bird escaped. This bird or another, who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hope he makes it. Thank you for caring about him. Can you catch him and check him out further?

Yes, I had caught him.

So, in his container, upon the oil filled radiator, he soon began to dry out. Where I had bunched up the material the bird rested its head and crop which seemed comfortable for it. It later took to lying down and was happy enough. All the time I had the bird next to me as I watched television so it was easy to monitor its progress.

It took water offered. I knew it had fed. It was its breathing that gave me cause for concern. I said initially it was gulping, it was more rapid intakes with the beak opening and head lifting with every intake and one could see the body moving in tandem. I said previously that it might be critical.

At approximately 02:00 a.m. UK time, I moved the bird to the bathroom with the other 2 birds, leaving it in the container with ventilation and a towel across the top. I do this because the others will go in there (at least one will) if they observe the bird. I looked in at it this morning at 09:00.

The bird is dead. In a way, I expected it to be, but there is always the hope it would survive. Could I have done more? The criteria was to get the bird rescued. Then get it dry from its soaked state. Make it comfortable and keep it hydrated. I also stroked the bird's head at intervals to reassure it.

Today would have been the time when I would start administering medication proper. That does not include ''running to the shelter for mother's little helper.'' Too often I see antibiotics as a catch-all and the remedy (universal panacea!) to make everything right. In any case, the UK does not issue them without prescription and unless one has a surplus of them or obtains them on the 'black market' then it's a no-go.

The best I can offer are salt water and antiseptic cream, food and water and care. There are homeopathic preparations too. However, none of these will abate a life-threatening injury. What of animal welfare charities. Waste of time. If they can bother to come out, they will execute the bird at their hospital. That would be the RSPCA as the Blue Cross do not collect. The RSPB don't even bother to answer the phone.

We are reliant on the small independent rescues who are normally one man operations that are far-afield. I'm afraid we are on our own in trying to save lives. Now what is the plan or the bird. As with every bird that dies in my care, I offer a Christian burial (even though I am not religious). Not 10 yards from me there is a strip of land used as a flower bed. I have interned many casualties there including: fox, squirrel, magpie, sparrow and finch.

Tonight I shall bury yet another victim of a gull. The wound is consistent with predator attack and the location is where it normally occurs. I am annoyed that yet again, I have to bury a bird, but I am inured now to death and do not grieve. I take it as failure more than anything. So yes the bird died but in its last moments it was not cold, wet, alone, waiting to be a meal for a fox.
 

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Am very sorry he didnt make it. Where i work the gulls and pigeons coexist peacefully. Thank you for trying to help him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Am very sorry he didnt make it. Where i work the gulls and pigeons coexist peacefully. Thank you for trying to help him.
Unfortunately that is not the case here and normally I pick up mutilated carcasses. Fortunately he didn't die that way but I know he won't be the last and gulls are doing what gulls do.
 
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