Max and Furiosa
(warning graphic photos)
Stephanie Grieve - January - March 2022.
Probably the most successful rehabilitation I have done since my time in RRANA is the severe case of magpie pox on magpie fledgelings, Max and Furiosa. These siblings were spotted by owners of the Mad Max 2 museum Adrian and Linda Bennetts in Silverton in January 2022.
Seeing them was quite confronting. Max had a very large sore hanging from his eye lid and sores on his beak and feet. Nothing like I had ever seen before.
Magpie pox is a pox virus specific to Australian magpies. The virus cannot spread to other bird species, but can be spread to other magpies.
It is transmitted by mosquitos who bite infected magpies and then bite other magpies, therefore spreading the virus. The virus generally appears when there is a wet spring and summer after a drought. After a tough time during the drought, the immunity of the birds is low. It usually affects fledgeling birds.
Furiosa was also severely affected by pox. She had pox sores throughout her mouth and covering her feet.