To cure a mockingbird: a young Northern Mockingbird chick with a case of knuckled-under toes received a welcome kick-start in the form of tiny hand-made orthopedic shoes.
Staff at the California Wildlife Center weren't too surprised when the hobbled chick was brought to their attention, as curled-under toes are not exactly uncommon in young birds. Rectifying the condition was critical, however: even a temporary reduction in mobility could leave the chick vulnerable to predators in the wild.
The solution – fitting the chick with a pair of snowshoe-like shoes made from cardboard and tape – allowed the bird's toes to gradually unclench in the protective environment provided by the Center.
“This is not an unusual case for us,” confirmed Jennifer Brent, Executive Director of the California Wildlife Center, “we do 5-10 of these types of foot repairs each season.” Best of all, recovery from the tweetment, er, treatment is uncomplicated and this particular chick came through with flying colors. Once she builds up sufficient wing strength it's expected she'll be released back into the wild. (images and info via WENN)