Your craziest bird rescue

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Correa
Correa's picture
Your craziest bird rescue

Mine was stopping traffic on a busy road to remove a duckling which had been run over. It  died in my hands  whilst the parents quacked around me.  I feel I may have saved the parents lives I laid the dead baby on grass near the dam which I assumed the ducks had come from.  The parents were really freaking out and I told them "Why did you try and cross that road? Now your only baby is dead".  

It was only later I realised how dangerous for me it was. I would never do it again, older and wiser. Actually the car drivers acted very well, all slowed down, no one tooted, no rear enders...

I have since rescued a galah with a broken wing till he was well to fly.

Led a massive rescue to save a juvenile Australasian grebe who had pink netting from turf around its neck.  Gentleman on a boat saved that little fella.  This was pretty crazy too, but everyone involved (there was quite a few of us) were elated when the little fella swam away.

Holly
Holly's picture

When I was doing my Phd I came across quite a few injured birds (plus a pair of feral kittens). The best one was when I was on my way home after a morning of field work - I was on a highway and saw a little bundle of blue feathers in the middle of the double lines. I thought I was seeing things as I was doing work on superb fairy-wrens and figured my mind was playing tricks :)

Anyway, I went around the corner and came back. Sure enough, there was a little male variegated wren in the middle of the double lines with trucks wizzing past. I raced out into the road and picked him up - he didn't seem well and I didn't have a box for him so I walked into a mechanics with a little bird in my hand! They gave me a box and I took him to my local avian vet. Given everything else injured I had found didn't survive and the bird was so tiny I didn't hold out much hope.

Rang later that day, the bird made a full recover and was released back into the same territory!

Correa
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Hi Dr Holly,

Great story, especially as the wren survived!  Can I ask what your PhD is in?  My daughter is doing her Masters in Environmental Science at the moment.  She works for Landcare in Melbourne. 

Cheers

Holly
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Official title was 'the effect of urbanisation on the superb fairy-wren'

It was tough work but lots of fun too - whats not to love about following a bunch of fairy-wrens around?

Correa
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I am delighted to have a family of 3 visiting my garden at the moment.  A few years back I had the priviledge of watching a baby Superb emerge from its nest and be reared my its parents.  I even put squashed caterpillars out for them and the male wren got quite used to finding them.  I will never forget that spring!  Not bad for a bare patch of earth 7 years ago, now I have nesting birds, plumed honeyeaters, new hollands, little wattle birds etc.

Woko
Woko's picture

Hi Holly. I remember visiting Sydney many years ago & seeing superb fairy-wrens in the hedge of the outdoor cafe in which I was eating. This was about 4 km from the CBD. However, the nearest superb fairy-wrens to Adelaide's CBD would be in the foothills about 8 km away & they don't inhabit the suburbs like they seem or seemed to in Sydney. Did your research cover this discrepancy between the 2 cities?

margaret
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I have fairy wrens ( near Parramatta) and also had them when i lived in Glebe (inner city sydney). There was a Glebe group that was constructing a corridor for them and promoting fairy wren friendly gardens and plants.

Recently we were driving on the outskirts of sydney and saw a baby kingfisher on the roadside. It had been hit. We rang Wires and they gave us a number for a local vet and they didn't answer. We assumed it was dying so we took it into the bush and left it there. We decided to look on the way back and it was still alive so we took it with us. There is  a man in a nearby street that has rescued birds before for me and I thought he was a Wires guy. He took it and i went back the next day and he claimed that it got better and flew away. Something I found very hard to believe so I just assumed that he didn't want to tell me it had died. The wires people rang back and wanted to know what happened and said there was no wires person in my suburb.

Windhover
Windhover's picture

Hi

What you (sadly) find if you ring WIRES call center, is that it appears a lot of the folks there are call center people, not carers. This may have changed recently, but I've been with WIRES on four years now and usually had CC people there. They should've given you more options in the area you were in, which I am unsure about.

In my Penrith area, we have a number of vets, but only two open on a Sunday, and at limited hours.

I would've expected a little more support from WIRES personally in your case. very disappointing to hear that

Holly
Holly's picture

Woko wrote:

 

Hi Holly. I remember visiting Sydney many years ago & seeing superb fairy-wrens in the hedge of the outdoor cafe in which I was eating. This was about 4 km from the CBD. However, the nearest superb fairy-wrens to Adelaide's CBD would be in the foothills about 8 km away & they don't inhabit the suburbs like they seem or seemed to in Sydney. Did your research cover this discrepancy between the 2 cities?

 

My apologies Woko - I didn't answer your question! Basically nope :) I studied a population in Wollongong, just south of Sydney - landscape variables really control the distrubition of these guys - but they still pop up in unusual and unexpected areas. There is one family hanging on in Glebe in Sydney - right next to the CBD! Their Heritage Society has a big project around them.

Margaret - I think there are a lot of people out there who care for wildlife without being licenced - sounds like your guy was one of them.

Windhover - a good avian vet is worth their weight in gold! I have one locally that I know personally (his daughter married my cousin - who is also a vet so is great for me as I have the dogs) - he has a wealth of experience and I am confident whenever I take injured wildlife to his clinic that they do everything they can and then contact WIRES (sadly I have only had one success)

Woko
Woko's picture

Thanks, Holly. I think the best hope for superb fairy wrens (& a number of other species) returning to some of Adelaide's suburbs is via the River Torrens linear pathway where lots of revegetation has occurred. As well, people living near the River Torrens will need to make their gardens far more native wildlife friendly. I must take a bike ride along the attractive bike track to see what I can find.

margaret
margaret's picture

i was delighted to see a big group of fairy wrens in the neighbour's yard this morning, at least 10, maybe 2 different families. I've never seen them altogether like that before. The family that usually comes is a group of 5. And btw are the males not blue at this time of year?

Woko
Woko's picture

Most of the males go into eclipse plumage at this time of the year. The older males, around 4 or 5 years, retain their breeding plumage, I believe. Perhaps their breeding plumage in winter is a symbol of the respect due to them because of their age. A bit like Supreme Court judges, actually.

Woko
Woko's picture

By the way, Margaret, where do you think the wrens came from. There must surely be good habitat nearby to encourage them to invade your neighbour's yard. Have they come into your place yet? I'd be surprised if they haven't given the good habitat you have.

margaret
margaret's picture

Yes Woko they come to my place everyday but i thought there were only 5 in the family and yesterday there were many more. I don't know how far they fly because there's not much around here for them.

Woko
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They must find the habitat reasonable otherwise they wouldn't be there, Margaret. Superb fairy-wren family structures are rather complex, I understand, with all sorts of relatives helping with the raising of the young.

margaret
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The extended family were in my yard today, lots of them, and very hard to tell how many. None of them are blue.

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