Butch is ill
Butch, our 'first' pied butcherbird, who made friends with Gitie way back when Maggie was missing, and Gitie and I didn't know if he was alive or dead, and who cheered us up while we searched for Maggie, is ill. The last few days we've seen his eyes 'crust' up, and seeing is becoming progressively harder for him. We have been giving him bread soaked in antibiotics in the hope that it can help. Without catching him, there is nothing else we can do.
Unfortunately the other group of pied bbs, who include one or two of Butch's now-adult kids, are taking advantage of the situation and trying to take over our back yard. Butch's group (Cas, Dimpy, and Kerry) are telling them off, but without Butch active, they are a bit hesitant. We are telling the new group that they only get fed in the front yard, not the back, and we are temporarily not feeding anyone more than a tiny tidbit if we can help it, except Butch, in order to keep all the birds at a distance in case Butch's trouble is contagious.
The worrying thing is that yesterday, Butch hardly ate. We have to prepare ourselves for the worst, maybe. And also yesterday, I noticed Magpie Sophie shaking her head as if she had a cold. We haven't had reports of bird flu in our area, but still, it's all the more reason to try to get our birds to spread out as much as possible for a while.