Help! Advice on a minor bird fledgling....

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Papillon garden
Papillon garden's picture
Help! Advice on a minor bird fledgling....

Hi, I came across a fledgling minor 'mickey' bird this morning that had been bumped by a car. It had only just happened so I stopped and rescued him from the middle of the road - no obvious 'blood' but he was moving his legs just unable to fly away or walk, so I took him to local vet in a ventilated cardboard box (always keep in car for this type of thing). Vet gave him the ok, i.e no visible signs of injury ie broken wing or leg and suggested I return him to where I found him so the parents can get back to him. I did this, released him on the footpath near a property but near the base of trees.. he seemed to be walking one-sided but keen to move away from me so I sat in the car and watched him (petrified he'd end up back on the road). He managed to jump up into a small bottle brush shrub that was next to gutter and sat on one of the lower branches. Definitely doesn't seem able to fly, just jumps up in air and flaps wings but can't take off... I left him in the tree and went back a few hours later - he was still there, eyes closed, but stretches legs and wings on occasion. Doesn't seem to be making a noise so I'm unsure if parents can find him. He's now on a higher branch but no sign of parents. Not sure whether I should leave him there or try to catch him (risk him flying back on road). If I leave him, he might end up back on road anyway.  Am at a total loss as to whether to leave to mother nature or intervene. It will be dusk soon... so I'm a bit paranoid about cats etc. Any advice greatly appreciated.  I also don't live close to where it is - so I can't keep an eye on it overnight or for any great length of time unfortunately.

Woko
Woko's picture

Hi Papillon garden. Good on you for caring about this Noisy Miner & returning it to where you found it.

In the immediate sense it seems to me you've done everything you can to ensure this bird's survival, particularly in view of the distance you live from the site of the bird's accident.

In the broader sense you could try enlisting the help of a human neighbour of the bird by knocking on a few doors or engaging with him/her over the fence while he/she is clearing his/her mail box or planting wildlife habitat in his/her front garden. But that's probably going out of the way to ensure the survival of an individual of a species that's not as endangered as many other Australian species.

Even more broadly you could approach the bird's local council & ask for a TRAVEL CAREFULLY WILDLIFE PRESENT sign or two to be erected along the road but that may be going beyond the call of duty in relation to a Noisy Miner.

Your paranoia about cats is fully justified so it's hardly paranoia. Sadly, cat predation of our wildlife is a fact of our Australian cat culture. Again, an approach to the Noisy Miner's local council about cat control (if they don't have it) would be a broad approach but one you might not be willing to take on.

You might even consider writing a letter to the editor of whatever newspaper is relevant about your experience with the Noisy Miner. That might get a debate going about willdife protection in general. Broader approaches sometimes lead down unexpected paths.

Papillon garden
Papillon garden's picture

Thank you so much for your reply Woko!  Very much appreciated... I returned the next morning and didn't see him/her in the tree - so I'm praying that mamma bird came back for him eventually... I try to keep that image in my head rather than cars, cats, etc. I did what I could do and the rest is up to mother nature. I hope he/she is ok.  Interesting you mention the wildlife signs, I have already put in a works request to Council for this exact thing 'wildlife sign' in another area nearby that runs parallel to a golf course - it's a major nature corridor that is bordered by a busy highway and suburban streets and over the last few years I can't begin to tell you how many injured and dead animals and birds I have collected and taken to the local vet around this area. I'm intrigued there has never been signage to date - seems not all residents seem to care very much these days.  So, it's in the pipeline.  It has to go through so many committees of course being government so I'm hoping it won't be knocked back. I have also discussed with our local council representative.  I'm hoping for a positive outcome.  Once again thank you!

;o)

Woko
Woko's picture

Extremely well done, Papillon garden. As you say, you've done what you can do. We all have limits on our influence & being aware of & accepting that saves our emotional energy for other things.

Good on you for trying to get a wildlife sign erected adjacent to the golf course. Golf courses can be (& should be, in my view) havens for wildlife so if a wildlife sign were to be erected it would not only help prevent wildlife losses but also contribute to creating a wildlife culture in that area. But as you imply, the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly. I like your two pronged strategy of speaking with your local council representative as well as applying to council. A third prong might be to speak with the golf club authorities & encourage them to approach council about a wildlife sign, too. They might even be prepared to have a stack of pamphlets in their club house informing golfers of the need to control or eradicate their cats (if they have them) in order to protect the golf club's wildlife. A little ownership often motivates people.

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