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Will magpie's tail feathers grow back?

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I have had a magpie in our garden for the past week. He has lost all his tail feathers and cannot fly, it just hops about - have no idea where it sleeps... I am wondering whether its tail feathers will eventually grow back and if so how long it will take? I have been feeding it bread as it looks a little on the skinny side. Any ideas what else I can do to help it survive?



Be better if you fed him seeds, nuts and mealworms if you can get them (some of the better, more expensive birdseed mixes have mealworms in anyway) - bread's not very nutritious, even though that's what we all traditionally fed them! I think they eat meaty bits too, but wouldn't want to risk rats coming into the garden.I imagine his feathers will grow back, perhaps he had a near miss with a cat and that's why he's lost them, but whether he'll survive on the ground, where's he's vulnerable to predation, is another matter.

17 Aug, 2009


Te feathers will grow back but can take up to six weeks to do so - during that time he will be very vulnerable to any ground predator. As Bamboo says feed him on seeds, nuts and mealworms not bread... though he should be able to feed himself. Possibly he has also been injured beyond losing his tail feathers.

17 Aug, 2009


He's probably going through the moult - all birds do this at least once a year. Most seem to go through it just after a brood fledges. One of our local kites has lost its distinctive v shape tale, has about three feathers left and looks incredibly scruffy.

17 Aug, 2009

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