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Pictures New Red Faced Mousebird Mommy - Help!

Liz

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Liz
Hi @Amy Pierce,

Thank you so much for writing! Yes the new one was very weak and it was touch and go for the first two to three days. It couldn't even keep its eyes open. Tried purity but it hated it.. But yes there is a huge difference now in the three weeks since I've had it. I firmly believe in keeping them warm in these critical times and through other bird rescues have learned that sometimes heat is the maker or breaker. I had a warm water sack thingy with a cover I used for this one now, with loads of extra material and fake nest stuff I put on top so the heat can come through but not burn it. Obviously making sure the water sack is not at its hottest. I used it at night when it slept in a special ventilated container. Only for 3 nights though. Then it snuggled as it got stronger in the fluffy nest stuff (don't know what you call it, as given to me by a lady who had a baby parrot.)

Yes I've also come across the fact that they clamber and play and so forth around the nest before its time to leave and somehow end up in these peculiar and unfortunate places.

I'll post photos soon again. Its become very lively in the 3 days now that its eating on its own. Like I said before it loves Watercress the most! :rofl: It goes crazy for it. But is much less enthusiastic for everything else. As much I've heard these birds love banana.. this one tends to flick it. I use to feed it banana when it still had no choice :dance4: (open mouth begging) :D but now that it takes the food from finger and can eat from a little plate it really avoids it. The reason I'm adamant on the banana is that it keeps longer in the stomach and gut and they get more nutrition from it then. I like giving it before it goes to bed.

Its flying much better but unfortunately lost all its growing tail feathers due to the cage. I don't have space now for a bigger cage, but will once I relocate in two months. I also let it fly (the bit it can) when I'm at home but I do have to put it in the cage when I'm out.

How old is yours now?
 

Liz

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Liz
Sorry just read you said you had for about a year now. Was also reading reading finding out the sex. Yours laid an egg. Well my previous one I only found out after about 3 years its a male... It was getting hold of the bath room towel.. if you catch my drift.. :smuggrin: Anyway that explains its cheeky side.. My late mother was the "other" bird it use to fight with (her finger at least)
 

Blom90

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Bonita
Hi from me too, @Liz! Your little mousie looks so cute!! Great job on raising it so well thus far.
Those photos are beautiful and it looks very happy. Good thing you found it! You mentioned that you had the other bird for only four years? Did something happen to it? I heard they can live for up to 15 years, that is why I am asking.

@Amy Pierce - I have very sad news... Muis died two days ago. One of the cats on the farm caught it with her paw through his cage and two of her nails penetrated him on the side. I don't think I have ever hit anything so hard in my life, but at least she let go. But I was too late :( The holes were quite deep. I took him to the vet and he gave me some pain meds and salve to help the wounds heal, but it was all for nought. I could see in his eyes and the way he looked at me that he knew the bird was not going to make it, and he didn't charge me for his time, only for the meds. But I had faith and knew he was a strong bird, this being the second time a cat caught him (the other one had him in her mouth).
I kept him with me the whole time after the incident, making sure he was warm and his wounds weren't bleeding. I wanted to stay awake and watch him, or have him sleep on a pillow beside me, but I had to work the following day so I decided to put him in his cage on his blanket with a warm bean bag (which I used all day to keep him warm). The following morning when I checked on him, he was dead. I can't even describe how much I miss that little guy and how much I hate that cat now. I hope I can find another little red-faced mousebird. He was just the cutest thing ever. I wish pet stores sold them here in South Africa. Does anyone know of someone who breeds them?
 

Blom90

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Here are two pictures I took of him earlier this week - his beak was already starting to colour and it is amazing how fast his tail grew! It was about 13 cm long.
I wish I could post videos to this thread - I recorded him most of the time because he had the cutest way of doing things. He would have this little attitude, like bobbing his head from side to side when talking to me.

The only thing that bothered me a little was that he liked to bite me (it felt more like pinching) when I didn't give him enough attention. He usually bit me in my neck while sitting on my shoulders.
Can anyone tell me how to discipline a bird this size? My office mate told me that she once flicked her parrot on the beak when she bit her and she never tried that stunt again. But it's hard to flick a beak this small :). Any suggestions for future reference (and other readers)?

IMG-20150212-WA0001.jpg IMG-20150212-WA0002.jpg
 

Liz

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@Blom90 Oh no! He died :( so so sad to hear! What a terrible thing to have happened! Cats as much as I love them does that! Sigh. And looking at your photos he was doing so well growing up! Sorry for you loss :(

You asked why my other one died. Well we had a thing for four years that every night before sleep time (it had a small sleep cage which was on my bed) we would cuddle, with him under the blanket by waist. He then would normally call me or bite me if no response to let him out. But this one particular night I must of gone in a deeper sleep very quick but when I woke up to put him in his cage he was dead. He must have either died from suffocation or me rolling on him. I have to say I was devastated. I even tried mouth to mouth (very lightly) but nothing. I killed the one little thing I loved the most in the world and my mom and I cried for a long time...

Anyway. You said yours was biting. And for future reference you would like advise. Well I have not come across that with mine. He only bit me a couple of times (waking me up to go to sleep) and only when I was not responding to him calling me. But he never ever bit in any other way. I got loads of cuddles though and got preened all the the time. My eyebrows were his favorite to pluck (not out though). But he always softly would preen my neck or face etc. This new one is starting to preen me now as its out of its hectic baby faze. I wouldn't know how to reprimand such a small thing for biting but a light tap on the beak would probably make the point. They are very intelligent and learn real quick.

As for breeding them. I don't know of any place. As far as I understand they are protected by our laws on Fauna and Flora for being a local species. So you would need a permit to keep or breed them? Anyone agree? I do however know my flat mate said her father in Durban got a friend for his Mousebird by buying one from a breeder.. so I guess it is happening? Can do more research. Also I am sure if you contact a place like Free Me who get little rescues in all the time perhaps they can give you advise and proper channels to follow? I don't know.

Keep in touch!
 

Amy Pierce

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South Africa
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Amy Pierce
@Blom90 I cannot even express my pain for you at the loss of your little guy :( It is so tragic. Its just so unfortunate that it is in a cat's nature to do these things. I adore cats but have decided that I will not be adding to my feline family in the future, as it is just too risky. Having lost a special little mousebird, I honestly can say that I know what you are going through. It has been nearly a year since I lost my little Twitch, and I still miss him terribly. I hope that you are able to add another mousie to your family one day.

As far as breeders go, I do not know of any. But @Liz is corrrect, all our indigenous birds are protected by law and one requires a permit to just keep them. (I am looking into getting a general permit, as I get loads of rescues in. I also currently have 1 Red-backed mannikin, 1 Bronze mannikin and 1 Tambourine dove, none of which can be released.) One thing I was considering doing, was contacting a vet (she is a friend of a friend) in Durban and letting her know that I will take in any mousebirds that come her way, as many people choose not to raise them as they can be quite sensitive and fragile. But again, I think one has to have the correct documentation to be able to do so.

On a personal note, I would not contact Free Me about looking for mousebirds. They are excellent and incredible people who do amazing work, but will not approve of someone "unofficial" looking to take in birds. I have contacted them for advice on a bird before, and they have always said I must hand the bird over to a rescue facility. I am confident in my skills as a rescuer and rehabber, and have had a lot of successful cases. I know they have to do this though to ensure that people do not "abuse" our natural wildlife.

As far as controlling the biting etc, I cannot help much there unfortunately. My baby mousebird never bit me, even if he thought I wasn't giving him enough attention, and my adult female only bites people she does know, or when she happens upon a freckle that she thinks she can eat ;).
 

Liz

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@Amy Pierce Yes thought as much as to permits etc. I believe its a good thing they are in place but then you get these little guys like we do. I have also rescued loads of birds and have had huge success. Even from when they are featherless little new borns. I also am very confidant in my rescue and rehabber abilities. And also am considering getting a general permit.

But it WP_20150224_057.jpg s agreed that mine now can not be released into the wild.. it wouldn't last one day. It has no family and no clue where to find its food. All it should have learned from its parents and flock. So therefore I have a little pet now, but also would like it to be with its kind even if in captivity where they are well cared for and happy and have space to fly. Thanx for clearing up re Free Me and I understand no where they are coming from.

Here are two more photos as its almost a month now since I've had this little one.





WP_20150224_026.jpg
 

Amy Pierce

Sprinting down the street
Joined
2/27/14
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405
Location
South Africa
Real Name
Amy Pierce
@Amy Pierce Yes thought as much as to permits etc. I believe its a good thing they are in place but then you get these little guys like we do. I have also rescued loads of birds and have had huge success. Even from when they are featherless little new borns. I also am very confidant in my rescue and rehabber abilities. And also am considering getting a general permit.

But its agreed that mine now can not be released into the wild.. it wouldn't last one day. It has no family and no clue where to find its food. All it should have learned from its parents and flock. So therefore I have a little pet now, but also would like it to be with its kind even if in captivity where they are well cared for and happy and have space to fly. Thanx for clearing up re Free Me and I understand no where they are coming from.
I understand when you say you wouldn't be able to rehab yours. I felt the same with my female. She was raised as a pet and when her owner realised she didn't have the time to give her what she needed, she asked if I would try rehab her. Of course, she was raised without rehab in mind, and as I'm sure you will know, it is near impossible to rehab a bird after that, especially one such as a mousebird that are very much "flock" birds. I have also heard from someone that if a mousebird is released into the territory of an existing flock, they will kill the newcomer, so that is also a big concern. I've heard of someone who used to put their mousebird out in a cage everyday, and eventually a flock came along and started socializing with the bird and eventually tried to feed it through the bars of the cage, and it was able to be successfully released :)
 
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