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Re: Phorusrhacids killing large mammals in National Geographic Channel

How "robust" is the immune system of an Osterich, or the immune system of birds 
in general?

I recently had a bird (a Budgie/parakeet) for all of 1 day after it was rescued 
from my cats mouth shortly after the cat caught it.

The bird appeared fine, no blood could be seen (it may have had some cuts under 
ruffled feathers) - it was very active-  eating, preening, climbing on the side 
of the cage, it appeared fine up to a few hours after the attack - it had only 
a few ruffled feathers, which it preened. 
No detactable blood loss, no broken bones, no visible wounds,

Hours later it just sat on a perch and didn't move much. By the morning it was 
dead at the bottom of the cage (all the pet shops were closed- it was the 4th 
of july, couldn't get antibiotics or give it to someone more capable of caring 
for it).

Apparently these birds are considered doomed from minor abrasions caused by 
cats - their immune system appears to be too weak to fend off an infection from 
a superficial cut, or at least a bite.

Is it likely a Phorusrhacid would be similarly doomed by a defensive bite from 
a mammal?

If so, it would seem unlikely it would attack larger prey that could break its 
skin, or prey it couldn't quickly dispatch with a single strike.

I would think attacking with the feet would increase the possibility of 
infection from a defensive wound, as I would think the horny sheathed beak 
would be much more resistant to infection from a scratch than scaly feet.