A Runaway Cassowary, Human-Eagle Mouth-to-Mouth, and More Bird News

Cassowary (Photo: Tomer Arazy, Flickr Creative Commons)

It may be hard to motivate on this sunny summer day. Instead of gazing wistfully out the window, check out some wacky avian news from around the nation. This post’s theme: The things we do for birds.

Oregon: A Unique Kind of CPR

Some vets will go to the ends of the earth for their patients. One, in the central Oregon town of Bend, recently gave a bald eagle mouth-to-beak CPR when the bird stopped breathing on his own.

The eagle, called Patriot, had a dislocated shoulder and a paralyzed leg, according to Examiner.com. During preparation for surgery, the bird stopped breathing so veterinarian Jeff Cooney took action. “Placing his mouth around the bird’s beak,” writes Pet News Examiner Howard Portnoy, “he began to administer rescue breathing until, amazingly, the bird began breathing on its own again.”

Despite Cooney’s efforts, Patriot may not be able to return to the wild if his injuries don’t heal properly. For the moment, it’s a waiting game.

Utah: Conjoined Robins Separated
Siamese robins? Well, not exactly. In Centerville, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, a family spotted a pair of immature robins that appeared attached together. So they brought the pair to the local vet.

Turns out, the chicks were conjoined, and they did need surgery to be split apart. However, they weren’t born that way. A small plastic thread caused the problem, the vet told the Desert News. “The robins originated in separate eggs. Somehow, the thread got lodged between them after they had hatched, and their skin and feathers grew over it, attaching them permanently,” according to the July 8 article.

Post-surgery, one of the robins wasn’t in great shape. But as of July 11, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah (where the birds were recovering) said both are doing well, including the weaker one. “It has come around beautifully,” the rehab center posted on its Facebook page.

Colorado: Runaway Cassowary Returns Home
Apparently, Murray wasn’t happy with his home. So he took it upon himself to leave.

To clarify, Murray’s a six-foot-tall cassowary, his home, the Denver Zoo. This past Friday, the bird—typically found in Australia and featured in a previous issue of Audubon—escaped his enclosure at the zoo. “It was sort of a freak incident,” spokesperson Tiffany Barnhart told the Denver Post. “He escaped by repeatedly throwing himself against the wire-and-metal fence barrier.”

Zoo staff were on the scene pretty quickly, coaxing Murray back into his enclosure by setting up a perimeter around him. “He was hiding in the bushes just adjacent to his exhibit,” Barnhart said. “He didn’t get very far.” According to the Denver Post, Murray wasn’t harmed, just scared.

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