Monday, January 08, 2007

Ivory Gull is dead

Sad news... the white wanderer from the Arctic is dead.

The following is from Brian Orr / Ayrshire Birding:

The Ivory Gull died on 4th January 2007 whilst in care. A post-mortem today at Auchincruvie SAC in Ayr showed it died of a heavy infestation of 'roundworm'. How it caught it was undoubtedly due to the bird constantly feeding amongst live-stock in pasture fields. Any live-stock with this parasitic worm will defecate it in its faeces (dung), the dung attracts 'Ground (garden) worms' which the bird was seen eating regularly throughout its stay in Ayrshire.
Recorded over a 23-day period between 13th December 2006 & 4th January 2007. It was seen at 4 locations: first found at Greenan Castle, Ayr, then Ayr Cattle Market, Troon and Laigh Patterton Farm, near Benslie. At Troon it was first noted the bird was occasionally head shaking and gaping widely as if trying to regurgitate something, this was notably worse when it was relocated at Laigh Patterton Farm, near Benslie in the north of the county. The farmer said it had been in his flooded field for 4 days and was never seen flying off to roost at night. It appeared distressed and the decision was made to try and catch the bird and take it to the Wildlife Rescue Centre at Hellishead, near Beith. It was easily caught that night and taken in to care, unfortunately it died the following day. Its weight was 340 grams: it should have been c.550 grams.

Brian Orr, 5 January 2007

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