One legged Jay

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A pair of jays have been visiting our garden quite frequently since the winter. About 10 days ago I noticed one of them sitting on a branch with one leg dangling down. It then moved across to the hanging mesh feeding tray and managed to cling on with one leg while tilting sideways and balancing with wing slightly outstretched. It continued to visit for about another 5 days, gradually getting more adept at managing life with this leg dangling uselessly.

I was surprised to see him three days ago with nothing dangling and thought the lower part must have been severed but as these subsequent photos show, he seems to have it somehow tucked up forward out of the way. It’s always in this position now so I assume it’s become set this way?

Life can’t be easy for him so I try to ensure there is always plenty of food available for him.

He has no trouble hopping around on the ground but prefers the feeders, I suppose he feels less vulnerable.

Sorry the pics aren’t very clear but I didn’t want to risk disturbing him by getting any closer.
I wonder how long he can survive.

Comments

12 Jun, 2011
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eje said:

Lovely photo's Lily.It's anyones guess if it will survive, on our local pond we had a Barnacle goose with one foot missing, that survived for many years.Please keep us informed as to its progress.Eric

12 Jun, 2011
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bonkersbon said:

Shouldnt be too concerned Lily as they are large birds with diverse diets and that powerful beak makes others reluctant to tackle them .. often smaller birds lose legs and they survive quite well but obviously at higher risk from predation.

Photos look pretty good to me .

13 Jun, 2011
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littlewren said:

great photos...and pleased it is managing ok...there must be so many maimed birds we don't see...which is just as well as it is a bit upsetting.....I hate it at the moment as so many little birds are hitting the window....I have the bird stickers on the window too but just had to pick up a little tree sparrow....put it under the bushes to see if it picks up....so so sad.

13 Jun, 2011
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jane said:

Hi Lily...thank you for this...highlights just how these birds can adapt to an unjury.Have seen similar ...especially last year when a mistle thrush in our garden suffered a bad leg injury.It was pitiful to see her struggle to perch at first but she mastered it in the end.Sadly she was taken by a sparrowhawk a few days later.Nature can be so unkind but they all need to struggle to survive dont they. Hope your Jay has more luck...

13 Jun, 2011
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lily said:

Thanks Eric, just been watching him pecking up food from the grass, seems much more confident and adept on the ground now. I hope he does as well as your goose.
Hi BB. Yes I think they're well able to look after themselves normally, it seems to be only Magpies that they're naturally wary of. So many wonderful photos on here and the standard is so high.
I find it upsetting when birds fly into our large windows too Littlewren. A couple of years ago I had a female blackbird fly into my open patio door on 3 consecutive days. She was stunned each time so I put her under the Hosta and within half an hour every time she'd disappeared. I presume it was the same one each time!
Hi Jane, it's survival of the fittest out there isn't it. How sad it must have been to actually see your mistle thrush taken like that.

14 Jun, 2011
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mike said:

Nice photos Lily - had not seen a Jay for many a while then saw two today - will post later

14 Jun, 2011
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jane said:

Thanks Lily....it was sad..especially as she had a family to raise....but it was heartening to see the male continue with the parenting and succeed to raise two little beauties...:o))

15 Jun, 2011
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david said:

Lovely pics, Lily - hope the Jay does well. Also enjoyed the comments with other tales, both sad and, as Jane says, "heartening".

17 Jun, 2011
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lily said:

Hi Jane, it's great to hear that the male took to his single handed parental duties so well. :o))
Thanks Mike, your fantastic Jay pics put mine to shame but I consider myself lucky to have them in the garden to photograph, even if they are camera shy!
Thank you David, am a bit concerned as neither of us has had a positive sighting of him for 3 days now. There has been a Jay in the garden several times but haven't been able to ascertain which one it is. I need to be looking out of the window all day!

10 Feb, 2012
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lily said:

Am delighted to report that "Stumpy" paid us a visit today along with his mate. We don't see much of them unless the weather is bad so the overnight snow gained us a good sighting. He appears to have no left leg at all now but it was difficult to see properly. Certainly the lower part has now gone. Wonderful to know that he survived. :o))

15 Feb, 2012
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david said:

Many Thanks for this update, Lily. He has done very well. :-)

15 Feb, 2012
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bonkersbon said:

Ah that is wonderful news Lily....a case of triumph over adversity if ever I heard of one ! Thank you for letting us know...:)

16 Feb, 2012
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lily said:

Thanks David and Bb, I'm delighted he's made it this far although apart from the last couple of weeks the weather has been relatively favourable for bird survival. Hopefully he'll make it through the rest of the winter. :o)

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