Exhausted blue tit

Hi, I'm hoping for some urgent advice please. My cats found a small blue tit, I managed to get to it before they did, but it had two very large ticks... one on its head and on on the neck. My vet has removed the ticks but the poor little bird is so exhausted. I tried putting him on the washing line but he didn't have strength to hang on. I now have him on a wrapped hot water bottle in a quiet room. He has drunk quite a bit of sweeten water bur just no interest in the minced meat, cat meat or earth worms I have tried?

Its like he can't be bothered but if he doesn't eat he'll die and all the trauma will be in vane! Any ideas on how to get something into him? 

Thank you in anticipation x

  • Hi Helen, well done getting your vet to remove the ticks from the bird; only time will tell how much damage the ticks have done as it can make a bird very sick causing paralysis, anaemia, hence it cannot perch, fly, etc., Depends on how long the ticks have been on the bird prior to their removal and it may only be able to drink and not eat anything at the moment. I'd leave it in the quiet darkened room now it has had a little water and only time will tell if it picks up after overnight recovery time. Some birds will recover ok although birds with more than one tick or several ticks the prognosis is probably not too good so be prepared that this little bird may not make it but bear in mind that you have done your very best for it and given it every chance. It will be far to weak to eat. If it does pick up then you can try a little moist cat food (meat, not fish) or live mealworms (or soaked dried mealworms) which may help it gain strength again. . I'm so sorry I can't give you more advice but hopefully the vet gave you some good information on aftercare. .

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thank you so much... I'm praying for the little mite, he seemed to pick up a little earlier and flew albeit very temporarily. He also appears unable to open one eye . The vet said he was feisty as made it through the tick removal (they were very large so would seem to have been there a while). Just checked in before bed and refreshed his hot water bottle for warmth and he is breathing very fast and heavy . After such a fight for a little one I am hoping to release him in the morning.... although as you say, only time will tell .
    Thank you so much for responding and will keep you posted x
  • Morning Helen, whatever the result you have gone to extraordinary effort to help this Blue Tit and as the vet says, they can be quite feisty birds so hopefully this little character gets through the tick ordeal. If against all the odds this bird survives the night and picks up sufficient strength it will be a good thing to release it as you say back to the wild and then leave the rest up to nature. Thanks to you for all you have done, whatever the outcome, on behalf of this forum and all people passionate about birds, wildlife and nature in general. Fingers crossed.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Ticks can carry the borreliosis bacteria which attacks the nervous system, and they are supposedly only attracted into warm blooded creatures, which birds, like mammals (mammals are their normal hosts) are, by disturbing the tick to try and remove it incorrectly.

    For future information should you have a tick on you or a dog/cat if you have any.

    My guess is the vet will have used something like a tick twister to remove the ticks to unscrew the tick rather than just pull it out. This is because a tick has a serrated mouth that is like talons and locks itself on to the host, and the best and so far only successful way to remove them is to unscrew the tick.

    Trying to pull or force the ticks off can make the tick regurgitate its stomach contents, which is where the borreliosis bacteria live.

    As a former hill and moorland walker (due to a major road traffic incident and not ticks), I've learned the hard way and as a result I have facial palsy, which I've learned to get on with.

    For up-to-date info on ticks and lyme disease, have a look at the Lyme Disease UK website, it is very informative.

    https://lymediseaseuk.com/

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Hi Helen, I hope the little Blue Tit has survived after all the care and attention that you have given, firstly catching it and getting it to the vet who removed the ticks and then looking after it, keeping it warm and trying to get it to eat. Keep us posted about the outcome.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Very good information Mike and sorry you suffered consequences from the tick bite when hill walking, goes to show what is out there lurking in the natural world and it's got its downside although thankfully the scales are weighed in favour of the benefits of enjoying the great outdoors.     What an unlucky encounter you had but battled through such adversity.     Having met you we know what a positive person you are despite the challenges that have been thrown at you.       

    @ Helen .... any update on the Blue Tit ?

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:

    Very good information Mike and sorry you suffered consequences from the tick bite when hill walking, goes to show what is out there lurking in the natural world and it's got its downside although thankfully the scales are weighed in favour of the benefits of enjoying the great outdoors.     What an unlucky encounter you had but battled through such adversity.     Having met you we know what a positive person you are despite the challenges that have been thrown at you.       

    @ Helen .... any update on the Blue Tit ?

    Thanks Hazel.

    Three months in hospital plus the physio that followed for the following four years and ongoing plastics consultations I've met some people far worse off than me, many maimed while in their 20's doing their part for our freedom.

    If they can do it, and nature can do it, then I've got to give it a go, whatever.

    Helen, if you can, please let us know how the blue tit progresses.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler