This baby cockatiel (shown in Figure 1) has an upper and lower beak that are not properly aligned. This condition is commonly known as "scissors beak." The cause is speculated, but not known. Looking at the left side of the photo in Figure 1, you can see how the upper beak is displaced towards the bird's right side.
In order to correct this deformity, we placed a wire implant through the bird's frontal bone while it was under anesthesia (see Figure 2). There is a hook at one end of the wire to which a rubber band is attached. The other end of the rubber band is placed around the upper beak in order to place tension on it and pull it into the correct position. While the implant was in place, the cockatiel was given pain medication and oral antibiotics to prevent infection.
The implant was left in place for 2 weeks, then removed. Figure 3 shows the baby cockatiel after implant removal. There is still some minor swelling at the surgery site, but the beak is now properly aligned.
Now the baby cockatiel is nearly full-grown, happy, and healthy! (Figure 4)