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Archive for January, 2011

The Crimson Rosella survived his second night with us, but he wouldn’t take the medicine and his condition wasn’t improving. So on the 15th we took him to an Animal Hospital to be assessed by a Vet to see whether the bird had any chance of recovering (it was likely he had brain injuries), or whether it was better to have him put to sleep. Later in the day the Vet phoned to tell us that he was put to sleep.

The next day we received a call to get a mother duck and her ducklings out of a pool, which was quite surprising seeing as how we had thought that the breeding season was over (however, looking it up later it says that these guys breed if there’s been flooding).

The pool was quite deep but empty except for the three fet or so of water in the deep end from all the rain we had had. There was the Pacific Black mother duck and her seven ducklings, swimming around.  We had no way of getting to them, and had no nets or pool cleaners with long enough handles to get to them from the other side. So we called in the RSPCA for some help.

We got close to catching the mother, but then she flew away; which is unfortunate seeing as how without the mother we cannot relocate them all. It was also unfortunate that we couldn’t just walk them to the nearest body of water as it was too far away. We had to get the ducks out of the pool as, even if the mother could’ve somehow got her chicks up those steps she would have lost them to the cats and dogs in the area.

We couldn’t catch the mother first, so we caught the ducklings and put them in a basket in a shaded area where their mother could see and hear them, but she got away again and flew off. So now we have seven ducklings in our care. They are going well so far, and are very cute.

The next day, yesterday, we got a call out to catch a parrot in someone’s yard. He was definately someone’s pet as he wasn’t a native. We tried coaxing him down with some food, and catching him  with a net but he was a very good flier. However, he stayed in the yard and had a little nap in a young tree. Worried that if we tried approaching him with our one net again that he would fly off, we again called for the RSPCA’s assisstance. This bird was defeniately someone’s pet, so if he got away his chances of surviving in the wild were slim as he didn’t have the necassary skills to survive for long.

Even so, he was certainly clever and stubborn. With the RSPCA’s help and nets we almost had him caught in the tree, however, he found a gap, flew under the nets and onto the roof of the shed. I was a little surprised he wasn’t flying too far (I’m gussing he liked the look of the yard and the fruit there). Scared him off the shed and he landed in another tree on the other side of the yard. I got under the tree and scared him again, trying to coax him back into the yard (as he was near the fence). He sqawked again and flew off. We were sure he was around somewhere, perhaps in next door’s yard. We had a look but couldn’t find him or hear him.

I had a feeling he was probably hiding somewhere nearby. He was always very quiet unless startled; but we couldn’t spot him anywhere. We thanked the RSPCA officer for coming out, even though we couldn’t catch the bird, and asked the owner of the house to please call us again if the bird came back, and then we left.

A couple of hours later the lady said the bird was back in her yard, and that she knew because she heard him hit her kitchen window- again (he did this the first time). Once again he was in her lemon tree. Knowing we didn’t have much of a chance of catching this cheeky parrot in the daytime (as he was too good a flyer), we decided that perhaps trying at night when he couldn’t see might be best. The only catch being that we would have to know exactly where he was before nightfall or we wouldn’t be able to see him. We said to put some fruit out and try coaxing the bird down by calling and talking to him (without scaring him). We were hoping that if he was tired and hungry enough he just might come down to her. We were going to wait until dark to catch him if he was still there. However, when we rang back to see how things were going, the lady said that he had been there until about fifteen minutes ago. She said she’d ring back, however, if he came back to roost. We didn’t hear back from her, nor have we heard anything yet today either. We can only hope that he was smart enough to stay high and find a suitable roost (not to mention food), and that he’s still in the area somewhere. He could’ve flown a fair distance. He was looking healthy otherwise, and so I have a feeling that he couldn’t have escaped too long ago.

At the time we even thought of calling up the RSPCA too see if anyone had reported a parrot missing (if so they could perhaps come and call him down to them), but when the RSPCA officer called (the parrot was on the shed at this time) there was only one report, and it was for the wrong type of parrot.

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A few days back I got in a Magpie-lark (otherwise known as a Murray Magpie or Piping Shrike). It was only a chick, and we picked it up from a nearby veterinary clinic. I was a bit nervous about looking after it, as I usually pass them on. These guys are more difficult to look after than Australian Magpies (even though their diet is pretty much the same). This chick was tired but vocal on the way home and called out for food, so I gave gim something to eat. He didn’t take a lot, but I was glad that he had taken something. I was still concerned though, as he spent most of the time dozing.

The next morning he barely took anything at all, and was looking more drowsy than before. Concerned about his well-being, we took him to Minton Farm. Murray Magpies are more difficult to look after, they are rather fussy. I have decided to continue doing what I did before, and pass on any more of these birds that come into my care onto more experienced carers. Australian Magpies I can look after, but these smaller magpies…

I have recently been informed that the little Murray Magpie chick died soon after we dropped him off. Of course, there could be more to it than just the fact that he didn’t eat much. It’s probable that he fell out of the nest (he certainly wasn’t supposed to be out of it yet); therefore he could have sustained an internal injury. Sometimes you just don’t know until it’s too late.

The day after dropping the magpie off, I received an adult Crested Pigeon. The RSPCA officer who brought him had received a call to get a possum out of a flue, so she was surprised to find a pigeon instead…how it got down the chimney I’m not sure (quite possibly fell down). We kept him here for a couple of days for observation (he may have been in a bit of shock). He was going quite well but was raring to leave. Today we released him back into his home territory. As soon as I opened the lid of the basket he took off like a bullet and flew to one of the higher trees. I think it’s safe to say that he was quite relieved to be home and will be alright. I do love these successful rescues. Releasing them back into the wild is the best outcome one can hope for. 🙂

Meanwhile, a young Crimson Rosella was brought to us yesterday. He had been found waterlogged, and so the man that had found him kept him in his car to keep him warm (as he was at work at the time). Once we had the bird in a cage we realized he was looking quite drowsy (he was looking half asleep and his head was drooping), and so I put a light on him and a few towels over the cage.

Over an hour later and his condition hadn’t changed. By now all the vets and animal hospitals were closed for the night, so we called Minton Farm. From the manager we were told to put the Rosella into a shoebox so it was dark (we had a light on him but it was bright and we dont currently have any heat pads), and have a 40w globe on the outside about three inches away so the heat would transfer through the box and keep the bird warm.

We found a box that was about the same length as a shoebox but its sides higher (the Rosella would’ve been too big for the shoeboxes we had); I punctured holes in the top and sides for ventilation, lined the inside with paper, carefully placed the bird inside, closed the lid, and then switched the globe in the desk lamp to a 40w and placed that three or four inches from the box. I then realized that a bit too much light was getting into the box so I placed a thin, oldish tea towel over the light’s side and half the top to make it darker.

I checked on the Rosella about every hour. We didn’t have high hopes for him making it through the night. A lot of birds that receive concussions don’t make it, simply because of internal injuries that can’t be seen. Animals are kept in for observation, and the first 24-48 hours are critical to know their condition. Of course, this Rosella had already had a long, stressful day, and would’ve also been in shock.

I was quite relieved to check on him in the morning and find he was still alive. He still looks rather drowsy and dozes on and off. This morning I gave him some water off a spoon (he drank it) and then transferred him back into the cage. There he went straight for the seed. I noticed that he was still a bit unsteady on his feet, and he seemed to feel for the seed rather than go straight for it. I have noticed that there is a possibility that there may be some blindness in his left eye (it looks rather dull but he keeps it closed most of the time), but I’m not positive at this time.

Today I have given him some medicine. The reason for his drooping his head is that he likely has a headache, so I’m hoping this medicine helps him feel better. Tonight will be another tense one.

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