Currawong rescue

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richman
Currawong rescue

I saved a Currawong chick from a cat last night, I saw he was very low to the ground and I knew there are cats regularly around every night so I tried to get him to come over through the fence but he was scared of me and couldn't be convinced. I live in Potts Point Sydney and the security block of flats I live in is fenced off from the next security block and he was next door. I determined to keep an eye out for him and left him to himself (I could watch him from my window). Anyway a bit later I heard Mum Currawong making a lot of noise and saw the cat very close to getting him and him trying desperately to get away. He was sitting on a string of hazard tape about 60-70cm off the drive. The cat was below him pawing at him after chasing him from a metal railing. I know the cat and yelled at him "NO" hissed at him loudly and ran out the door to the next door flats pushing the intercom buttons to get someone to let me in. Luckily a kind girl did when I told her a cat was about to get a baby bird. I ran in and scooped the little bugger up unharmed (he had some feather damage I assume from falling out of his nest in the first place).  Mum currawong was hanging around and I tried to find a tree to get the little fella up but all the low branches were chopped off and there wasn't any easy way. After a while It got too dark and it started to rain,  mum wong had left so I took him in and kept him overnight. I gave him a feed of a couple of sultanas and a piece of mince and made a perch for him off a hanging plant (and over some more plants to collect the crap) He was happy there and went to sleep until the thunder storm woke him later. Luckily he was nice and warm inside and wasn't geting wet this night.


Mum Currawong started calling around 5.30am so I got up and opened the blind to show mum that her baby was OK. She got all excited and was mewling like a little cat. I grabbed the little guy and walked outside giving him a feed and showing his mum he was doing ok. After doing the rounds again to see if I could find an easy tree for him. I found a stick and plonked him on the end and managed to get him up a fig tree. After 10 minutes I looked up the tree a few times (It's not far from outside my window) and couldn't see him. I thought he would be fine and that I was just a blind old bugger or he had scooted up out of sight, until about an hour later when I heard him calling for food and looked out. He was on the ground in the driveway and Mum Currawong was on the fence making funny noises again. I grabbed him again, plonked him on my shoulder (I noticed he seemed to like it there and would nibble my ear and gently peck at my head)  and this time grabbed the stick and managed to climb part way up the tree, got him to stand on the end again and poked him further up onto a thick bough. This time he was on a less precarious spot and managed to clamber further up. Mum has been coming back to him regularly since and all seems well. Attached are 2 pics of him still in the tree. (only a few hours later)

Honestly I don't know how these birds survive so well this is the third one I have rescued in about a year.

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Some kids, they just have that daredevil streak born into them laugh  Sounds like mum Currawong might just be kept on her toes until this little guy is fully fledged.  Great save richman, and great read.  Loved the impromptu poop catcher - those plants will probably have a growth spurt now with fresh fertiliser.  He's a little bit cute too!

NW Tasmania

richman

Unfortunately I think this daredevil was too impatient. After him spending Sat night in the tree and mum and dad coming to feed him regulary At about 5pm on Sunday he was on the ground at the bottom of the tree waiting to be put back up. It was raining and I couldn't get back up the base of the tree in my bare feet and took him in for another night.

I made a better, bigger roost for him at the window and left it open enough so he could hear and feel the wind and the outdoors but not enough to get out where the patrolling cats were waiting below. Mum and Dad Currawong came round at about 5am and he jumped off the perch and started scrabbling at the window. I got up, gathered him up onto my shoulder and went to the tree. I got up to the first fork OK and mum was excited calling and flying up to the higher branches. I again coaxed him onto the stick and placed him up higher onto a branch where he could access the outer limbs. I went back inside and watched him clamber up and out to the leafy parts. There he stayed... He seemed quite at home jumping about from branch to branch when his mum or dad came to him.

I went to work hoping he would be fine like the whole night and day he spent up there without problem but when I got home there was no sign of him. I searched around and while I was down searching mum and dad came and sat on the fence above me watching. I asked them where he was but naturally enough they didn't answer. I searched the area and streets around my place but there was no sign of him. There wasn't any sign of feathers or blood either so he might have managed to nick off and become someone elses problem but I don't hold much hope for the little daredevil.

I will spray the cats with water tonight just because I am upset.

Woko
Woko's picture

Normally, it's important to leave birds to their parents' devices once they leave the nest. A bird on the ground may well have parents nearby. However, the position changes when there's a marauding cat nearby. The young bird's parents can't be expected to do the protection honours.

Spraying the cats is a good step. However, if you're of a mind, richman, have you thought of putting your story on paper & distributing it among the flats in your neighbourhood? It might prompt some catophiles to have second thoughts about the efficacy of owning such a pet.

george
george's picture

we need more human helpers like you. 

                                              thank you.

richman

Yesterday I heard the sound of hungry little currawong begging mum for food. I rushed out and it was the same mum and dad that hang around feeding a little one high in the tree in the street outside my place (bloody plane trees). I was not sure whether it was another young one of theirs or the little one I rescued. Today they brought him to the tree outside my flat and I got a better look he had a damaged tail like the little one but it could be that all juveniles out of the nest have dodgy misshapen tails. It seemed to respond to my voice but I might just be imagining it. Either way it has put a bit of hope into my mind that maybe he survived OK.

Interesting to watch the way the parents bring the food to a few branches away and make the little one fly to them to get it. He was flying quite well over short distances.

(I never did spray those cats as I had no proof they had done anything. I don't hate them... I just wish they weren't so bloody efficient)

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Brilliant news richman! Sounds to me it's quite possibly the same little daredevil too.  Thanks for the good news update!! smiley

NW Tasmania

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