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  1. #1
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    male bengalese finch odd behavior, neurologic?

    Thing Two is a 5 yr old male that seemed fine, except for spending time "cradled" between two branches in the fake tree in the bird room. He would position his body between two branches with legs hanging down. We thought it was odd but he was eating, drinking and doing all the normal things. In the last week I noticed him on the floor quite a few times and now we noticed that he seems unsteady when he flies and lands. We can't figure out if it is his eyesight or if it is neurological. My daughter noticed that he seems reluctant to move sometimes.
    We have 14 finches total and no one else seem to be exhibiting similar behaviour. Some of the males have a bare throat with no feathers, but this has been going on for months and not all the males have those feathers missing. Other than that everyone is ok.
    A lot of our birds are or will be 5 yrs old this year so we are expecting some deaths and illnesses in the next few years, just wondering if this is Thing Two's time to go or if it is something we can treat.
    Any one with similar experiences in their finch world?

  2. #2
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    Re: male bengalese finch odd behavior, neurologic?

    If he is experiencing illness symptoms and you think something is wrong, I would see an avian vet about it, or at least discuss his symptoms over the phone. It could be he has injured himself, or if he is ill, it could be something contagious and you don't want it to spread to the rest of your flock.

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    Re: male bengalese finch odd behavior, neurologic?

    I thank you for taking the time to answer, And am glad to find a forum with other bird lovers. As it turns out, he seems to have stabilized, no shakiness or unsteadiness, very odd. Still, I know he and his clutch mates are now over 5 yrs old and showing signs of aging, so anything can develop at anytime. His dad is almost 6 now. This flock is doing well because family support is very good. The reason I ask in a forum these questions is because anytime I took a finch to the avian vet, they could never find anything definite, so I was looking for personal experiences rather than medical theory. Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    Re: male bengalese finch odd behavior, neurologic?

    hmm very interesting. I would still watch him closely for any odd behaviour again. My experience with wild birds, is more star gazing and spinning, but flight issues are also a neurological issue. keep watch.

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    Re: male bengalese finch odd behavior, neurologic? possibly twirling

    thanks bc for that input. I believe now that you are right as to the stargazing syndrome, due to the fact that two other birds displayed a more overt stargazing behaviour that turned to twirling. Thing two did recover enough where there is no residual symptoms, no obvious ones. His case must have been mild. Given what later happened.
    In June, his brother from the second clutch, Crash, began having problems flying, stargazing and eventually twirling with the head off the floor. In August, his dad Cepheid, began same symptoms, but due to a bout with a night fright in the cage he might have injured more and twirled with head on the floor. The dad is 6 yrs old and the brother is 5. The brother, Crash, went into a kind of remission, maybe on his own or maybe helped by some Baytril, hard to say. He was able to join the aviary and fly around. Two wks later he had a relapsed, more Baytril, recovered, back to aviary and was well, with some off days until September, 3 wks or so after the dad Cepheid became symptomatic. Now they are both in the same cage. Crash and dad had chloramphenicol this time, off now for a week. Dad stopped twirling with head on the floor after a week, and adjusted to his status after two, able to perch but not fly. Crash, is a bit better. They both sleep with head hanging while perching. So, two of the 14 finches are displaying stargazing, so is hard to think it is environmental. Why the sons displayed this before the dad if it is genetic, is weird. I understand that this illness is still a mystery, avian vet confirms this, all we can do is try things and see what works or let them be. The vet gave them a steroid shot also. Anyone has knowledge of any avian research on twirling/stargazing? We give vitamin water, and greens in addition to seed diet. Sometimes boiled eggs. I had to feed dad for a week due to the severe twirling but he can feed on his own. This is so frustrating. I want to see dad flying and singing again. I recently noticed some heavier breathing in the dad that is not due to URI or mites ( vet saw him and didnt mention these ). But I did notice somewhat of an enlarged abdomen, like his daughter two years ago. I am told that it could be tumor, cancer, which means nothing can be done. Could there be other reasons for enlarged abdomen? daughter died after a week of abdominal enlargement (no egg bound) and heavy breathing caused by the enlargement (two years ago). This might be happening again to the dad. They are all in a big room, free fly, with a bunny. Bunny has hay that birds steal. He also has litter box. I thought maybe the ammonia from the pee could be the reason, but only two are ill. Also, mold in the air or food, but again only two are sick. So hard to guess right. I wish someone would do research on this, for our friends sake!
    Last edited by belleus51; 10-08-2012 at 02:15 PM. Reason: adding

  6. #6
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    Re: male bengalese finch odd behavior, neurologic?

    • Go to: www.ladygouldianfinch.com
    On the left side of the page look down and move your mouse to Articles and info. When the next piece opens, move your mouse to Health, it will then open another piece, move to Bacterial, Protozoa, Fungal & Virus. This will again open another piece, move your mouse to Twirling, Stargazing and read. Too long to write what I think and this has everything you’re looking for. Good Luck

  7. #7
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    Re: male bengalese finch odd behavior, neurologic?

    Thanks, I did read this page while searching for information. The vet was not inclined to think fungal or protozoal, maybe viral, but there is no treatment so no use finding for sure on that one. I was hoping for newer information or personal experiences from finch owners. It is very frustrating that there is hardly any research or information out there. Unfortunate for our feathered friends. Now Cepheid is going into this weird "spasm", maybe in response to stress or being startled, the vet has no clue and I have even less. I cannot find any information online about this. I can't attach the picture here. He curls up on his side, like fetal position, legs outstretched over the wings,like a weird ball. I thought it was seizures, but he seems alert, just stuck in that position for a while.

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