This summer has thrown its fair share of curveballs here at Diva Crows. First with the mysterious bird disease that has plagued the birds in and around the D.C. area. The birds showed signs of neurological defects and crusty eyes. We also found that the illness was highly contagious, and we had to quarantine and separate the sick birds from the healthy ones. Even though the intake of birds with this illness has slowed down to almost nothing, we still don’t have the results back from the tissue samples that were sent in.
We also had to adjust ourselves back into semi-regular life after all of our staff was vaccinated and we saw an increase in bird intake. We have already reached the total number of birds we got last year (around 200). Along with that, we help prevent bird-nappings almost everyday.
The biggest curveball we’ve received (and we’re only halfway through the summer) is that we found out Aurora is actually male! We never really knew the sex of Aurora, but we assumed he was a female because of his weight: he is only around 250 grams, which is quite small for an adult crow. We also assumed he was a female because of his moodiness that we thought was a result of hormone changes and potentially egg production. The only way to know the gender of a crow for certain, along with any other bird species that is not sexually dimorphic, is to do a blood test or wait to see if the bird produces an egg. We ordered a molecular analysis based on the DNA differences by PCR. PCR is when scientists duplicate a DNA sample to the point that it’s amplified large enough that they can more easily study it and find details within it. The blood test has an accuracy of about 99.9%, which means there isn’t much of a chance he could be female, so we’ve been brainstorming new names for him.
His first name before it was Aurora was Paddlefoot because he had a huge bandage to straighten out his curled toes. Then it changed to Aurora once he was measured (assuming he was female), and he was named after the Disney princess. Right now, our team has been debating the new name for Aurora, and it looks like Apollo is winning. If you have a suggestion for the new name, send us a message on our social media! Our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all @DivaCrows.
If you want to support us in helping rehab birds, you can donate to our PayPal account or our Amazon Wishlist found in the bio of our social media and website. All of the donations are tax deductible and go to equipment, food and supplies for the birds.