Sophie update

Sophie Magpie is still sick, unfortunately. If you recall, she had the same eye trouble as Butch Butcherbird, but also had some sort of flu, shaking fluid from her face at intervals.

Luckily the flu seems to have gone away, but her eye trouble remains. She sits quietly in our yard and seems to do little searching for food, eating only the cheese and bread we put out for her. A few days ago, beautiful Monty, her younger brother (still a juvenile in grey instead of black) saw her trying to pick up some cheese, and so he took it and put it into her mouth. This is the second time I have seen Monty taking care of his sick sister. What a noble bird!

He reminds me of another youngster a few years ago, before we started, called Bunty. Bunty was an offspring of Maggie's adoptive father, Fatty, and Bunty, too, was so gallant and kind to his little sister. In his case, his sister was "little", not because she was younger (they were twins) but because she really was little! Her name was Kimby, and we called her our Dag Princess. She was always a total mess to look at. On one occasion she lost all her head and neck feathers and she let us take her to the vet for a consultation. But eventually she grew into a beautiful adult.  Bunty had to leave when Fatty died, but he has come back a few times to say hello to us. When he comes, Maggie tries to shoo him away, but Bunty knows a trick that no other bird we've seen seems to have woken up to. He sees Maggie swooping downwards from his high tree, and Bunty flies almost straight up, instead of away from Maggie. He quickly gets above Maggie's flightpath, and easily escapes. When Billy (Bunty's older brother) tries it, he flies away instead of up, and Maggie always catches him and gives him a nip on the tail!

We really don't know how Sophie will turn out. Will the eye trouble also clear up, or will her lack of natural food get her before then? We're keeping our fingers crossed. She won't eat any other food we try to give her, so cheese and bread will have to do the best it can,




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