Not-so-happy Ending for Nuthatch

A red-breasted nuthatch. Watch a video of this bird’s exam.

A red-breasted nuthatch was brought to VINS Friday for treatment after the little bird flew into a bird feeder and sustained injuries. The bird, according to the person who brought him in, got caught in part of the feeder.

Watch a video of this bird’s exam.

The nuthatch showed signs of head trauma, with one eye closed shut and a slight shaking of his head, known as ataxia. While we were relieved to find the bird had no fractures or external bleeding, his head trauma grew increasingly apparent after we gave him medication and left him to rest in his enclosure. His breathing was labored and his stance looked a bit weak and unstable. 

Unfortunately, this morning we came to work to find the nuthatch had died overnight. While head trauma in wild birds is often successfully treated, this bird’s injuries were too great for a recovery.

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