Sick/Injured Rainbow Lorikeet: Advice Please

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dylanjtw's picture
Sick/Injured Rainbow Lorikeet: Advice Please

Hi everyone. I've been searching for a little advice but haven't been able to come up with much. I have zero bird knowledge and hoping somebody here can help me out.

(Ok this has gotten quite long, sorry! I appreciate your time and thank you in advance)

Yesterday a young Rainbow Lorikeet (I'm not sure how old - it has an orange beak if that helps)  squeezed in under our back gate and was showing signs of distress. It was hesitant to fly and slow to walk. I left it be, and he sat under the bench in the yard. I kept an eye out from inside trying to spot any parents, as I've seen Magpies look for their chicks in the past. 

I worried about him later in the day with a cat lurking aswell as just surviving the night in general. After some searching online and talking to the vet, I hesitantly decided to take it there to be in the right hands. I  carefully placed it in a dark ventilated box and prepared to leave. 

I then heard a loud distressed bird in our backyard from inside and saw that one of its parents had turned up almost definitely looking for it. I bought the bird back outside, and they started talking. He slowly left outside the gate, and the parent followed its path flying from branch to fence, just above it.

I was conflicted with my decision as the bird was vulnerable, but I thought that the most natural thing to do was to leave it with its parents. And it was better that the parent knew where the young one was. Especially after reading around I felt the vet might just put it down.

Later that evening it turned back up sitting back under the bench before making a couple of short flights to a branch about head height. I figured he was at least off the ground and sheltered. This morning when I woke up, both parents were next to him and have been checking in throughout the day. I've just tried to leave them be and stay out of the area. 

My questions are: Will the parents find food for it? Or are they likely confused about its situation? I suspect it is an injury rather than a sickness. Can birds mend after some rest? Should I place some appropriate food nearby so it can eat while it rests?

My head says just leave it be and let nature take its course but is there anything sensible I can do to help?

pacman's picture

you have done well by letting the parents do their job

I would provide water / birdbath or similar


dylanjtw's picture

Thanks for your response Peter, have taken your advice.  


Good work.  Like human parenting the parents will probably be confussed about what their teenager is doing. But somehow they will press on and give the offspring their best chance to survive.  Only the most wayward children or those that inflict a life changing injury upon themselves have to accept the actions.  You kept the cat and other bad influences from getting to their child in times of need.  Now it is in a tree it will probably do fine aftrer mum and dad have a good chat to it about life, and how crazy it can be out there.

I'm no bird expert, rather a hack, but pools of water are hard to find in surban summers, so take Pete's advice. The folks will find the food, they have been doing so since their little angel arrived into the world.    

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko's picture

Yes, well done indeed. It's possible the youngster was injured crashing into a window. In a stunned & possibly injured state it was vulernable to the lurking cat so you did extremely well to keep it safe from that source of harm. Non intervention unless a bird is at risk from unnatural things is the preferred option in my opinion. Your story might be good fodder for the local newspaper where it might encourage others to keep their cats controlled & to avoid interfering with nature.

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