Injured bird walking on 'stumps' treated with teeny tiny snowshoes


How do you fix a tiny bird with poorly feet? Well if you’re the California Wildlife Centre, you make said bird a pair of shoes using cardboard and tape!


In photos shared by the centre, the injured Northern Mockingbird appears to be walking on stumps -- but she was actually suffering from a medical condition that caused her feet to knuckle.

It meant she was unable to open her feet to stand or perch, and walked with her "toes" curled under, the centre said.

While the cause of the injury is unknown, it's apparently common in young birds.


"In this particular case, the bird had the shoes on for one week, " the centre's  Dr Lorraine Barbosa explained on their website.

"We will generally keep the shoes on for 5 - 7 days (depending on the severity of the knuckling) then remove them and see if the bird maintains its digits in correct positioning without the shoes."

"If it does, we leave them off and recheck daily for the next few days in a row to make sure they stay that way.

"The birds generally tolerate the shoes very well, walking fairly normally with them on, and in cases where they have only one foot with a shoe and the other without, they will even perch on ropes or branches. "

Luckily for this little chick, the shoes were a success and she will soon be released back into the wild.

Whilst this may seem like an unusual sight to us, Jennifer Brent, Executive Director at the Center explains, “This is not an unusual case for us — we do 5 - 10 of these types of foot repairs each season.”


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