Knocking on door, 17th June -
photo taken from another window
The sulphur-crested Cockatoo, 'Scruff', that we'd been favouring for many months, didn't show up yesterday morning, nor for the rest of the day.
We knew it was just a matter of time, as the mornings have been frosty and whenever he turned up he'd be shivering. Two days ago he stayed around all day, sleeping most of the time. Of course we had no idea whether it was male or female but we chose male.
We were told by our neighbour and vet that there was nothing could be done for the bird and this morning I looked around the net and found that the disease is called Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, or PBFD. They lose feathers and the beak and claws malform. I also read that the virus is contagious. The immune system goes into overdrive and they usually die of some unrelated viral or bacterial infection and not the PBFD itself.
We'll always remember 'Scruff', he was such a character and used to follow DMJ around like a little puppy. What we found interesting was that the flock had not disowned him and didn't torment him, as is usually the case with a 'cripple'. Just last week we saw another cocky preening him; I hope it doesn't get the disease. Some of his feathers had grown back but they weren't enough to keep him warm on these cold mornings. We're just thankful that we gave him some loving and sustenance in his last months.