Cafepress Store     Cafepress Store

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: A survivor's story

  1. #1
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Northford,CT,USA
    Posts
    23,406
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default A survivor's story

    I spent a lot of my free time bird watching and taking pictures. I enjoy studying natural history and how things in the living world interact. In my years of this pursuit one thing became very clear.Nature is really not kind to injured animals. The natural world is full of predator vs prey relationships and life is hard. Its a constant battle to survive, find food and live on to reproduce. Rarely do you see a lame animal in the wild. Anything that interferes with your ability to evade predators or find food is a death sentence. It takes a fierce will to live and sometimes to adapt to an injury to make it in the wild. I was reminded of all this yesterday when visiting one my local birding spots. There are a myriad of species of birds that call this park home or visit from time to time...one such bird is the American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). It is a medium sized heron that tends be more secretive than other herons. I rarely them in my area more often hear them but they are found across the USA. To my joy, I came across one this weekend.

    _AJS8107 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    When I come across a bird I don't normally see I tend to take a bunch of pics and then watch.. try to get a handle on its behavior. One thing that I noticed right away was this Bittern was Lame. It favored one foot over the other. It had moved in a strange manner as result. Normally herons slowly walk around the marshes, pause and scan the area near them for prey in reach and the stab with the bills. The walk itself is slow and deliberate. Not this fellow, With every step he had to lift his injured foot high and swing the whole leg around to the front of him because of his large feet. As that foot came down the bird was actually walking on its "ankle" at times.It must have been very difficult to walk and painful. As I watched I could see 3 of its long toes were black..I am guessing they are not getting enough blood flow. I did see him catching food though but I could not see this bird lasting long in that state. I planned on trying to get in touch with the area bird rehabilitator and see if they could help it.

    _AJS8570 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    _AJS8752 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    fish in mouth
    _AJS8808 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    _AJS8690 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    _AJS8648 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    _AJS8517 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    _AJS8757_01 by Al Sabetta, on Flickr

    After I left that area and was birding a little further along the marsh I ran into a few other bird watchers and as is common we talked about the birds about that day. I asked if they had seen the Bittern today and they had not seen one since early fall. I told them about the one I had just seen with the bad foot and apparently they had seen the same one months earlier with the same injury! I was really surprised by that. It seems my feathered friend was a true survivor! I don't know how well it will fair as the winter progresses and breeding season will be challenging after that. The males combat dance is pretty aggressive. But for now, I am reminded that though birds are Beautiful and look delicate, if they were truly wimpy, they probably would not have survived as group when their dinosaur predecessors went extinct. I hope that my feathered friend here does survive... I will be rooting for him and looking for him often.

    al
    Last edited by brewmaster15; 01-23-2023 at 09:43 AM.
    AquaticSuppliers.com Freeze Dried BlackWorms and other foods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>We really could use your support. Please DONATE HERE Thanks!


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

  2. #2
    Platinum Member fljones3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    976
    Blog Entries
    1
    Real Name
    Frank

    Default Re: A survivor's story

    It is sorrowful to observe. It is plain that the world is full of death — lurking over all of creation.

  3. #3
    Registered Member jwcarlson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    421
    Real Name
    Jacob

    Default Re: A survivor's story

    The phrase "tough old bird" isn't for nothing!

    Shouldn't he be down south right now, Al?

  4. #4
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    30,730
    Blog Entries
    4
    Real Name
    Pat

    Default Re: A survivor's story

    Beautiful bird Al, since the toes are dark does that indicate lack of blood flow?
    Pat
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


  5. #5
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Northford,CT,USA
    Posts
    23,406
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Re: A survivor's story

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    The phrase "tough old bird" isn't for nothing!

    Shouldn't he be down south right now, Al?
    He should be ... in CT these are endangered..we rarely have them breed.. more like a stop over visitor. I fear this one is having trouble building reserves and may just be staying where it feels safe. More info here..

    https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Wildlife/...erican-Bittern
    AquaticSuppliers.com Freeze Dried BlackWorms and other foods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>We really could use your support. Please DONATE HERE Thanks!


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

  6. #6
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Northford,CT,USA
    Posts
    23,406
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Re: A survivor's story

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand Pat View Post
    Beautiful bird Al, since the toes are dark does that indicate lack of blood flow?
    Pat
    Pat, I think those toes are literally dead.. gangrene. But thats just my thought.. Alot of Birds have a complicated circulatory system in their feet that help keep their bodies warm.. I dont remember all the details on it but I think that may be what is keeping this bird alive.
    AquaticSuppliers.com Freeze Dried BlackWorms and other foods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>We really could use your support. Please DONATE HERE Thanks!


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

  7. #7
    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    30,730
    Blog Entries
    4
    Real Name
    Pat

    Default Re: A survivor's story

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster15 View Post
    Pat, I think those toes are literally dead.. gangrene. But thats just my thought.. Alot of Birds have a complicated circulatory system in their feet that help keep their bodies warm.. I dont remember all the details on it but I think that may be what is keeping this bird alive.
    I thought those toes could be dead also Al. I was down in South Florida last weekend and one of the breeding GBH had an odd looking leg. Look at the first leg. I think it was broke at some point. This photo is right out of the camera. I think this bird was counting other herons as they flew by and it's feather condition is really good.

    DZ9_3667.jpg
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


  8. #8
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Northford,CT,USA
    Posts
    23,406
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Re: A survivor's story

    Yep..there definitely looks like something happened to it at one point. It does look heathly otherwise.
    Al
    AquaticSuppliers.com Freeze Dried BlackWorms and other foods your Discus will Love!!!


    >>>>>We really could use your support. Please DONATE HERE Thanks!


    Al Sabetta
    Simplydiscus LLC Owner
    Aquaticsuppliers.com


    I take Pics.. click here for my Flickr images

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Cafepress