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.


I hope everyone who celebrates it had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you all and your families the best for the New Year!

I also hope that any pets out there may’ve also been given a treat or two. Can’t forget our furry, feathered, scaled, shelled (or perhaps even bald) companions. They are family too! 🙂

Been so busy this month, what with organising a Christmas party and all…

But now the last (and very late) update on the ducks. Well, we managed to get them all to homes 🙂 The first lot of Black Ducks went to the same Fauna Rescue member as we usually take Wood Ducks. Now she can’t take anymore though because she has too many than her dam can hold. The second lot went to another couple who are also Fauna Rescue members. We took the ducklings to the couple’s home…and they will release them when they are ready to fly.

We had three Wood Ducklings in our care, only one seemed to be falling behind the others and wasn’t eating well so we took him back to Minton Farm. Last I heard he was in with some chickens and was doing well. The other two Wood Ducks stayed in our care until we could find them a home, which prooved a little difficult. Also, as they were getting very close to flying, we couldn’t let them out of the pen for a while, as we didn’t want them flying from here. Eventually, however, we found someone who could take them and by now they would be roaming free on their property amongst other ducks. 🙂

I don’t think I’ll be posting on Fauna Rescue for a while, as we are off- call for Christmas (we are too busy to take calls at the moment) and I also have a new job I need to concentrate on. It’s at a boarding kennel. I’m both nervous and excited, as I don’t often get to spend much time with dogs. There are cats there also but I have worked with them before.

Still, I would like to get back to Fauna Rescue. I’m hearing people are getting inundated with animals, and I want to help!

Been so busy with ducklings, I’ve forgotten to update on here! The last thing I think I updated on was when we had the first ducklings outside with no light for the first time, yes? Well, we’ve been busy since the 28th of October.  We’ve had in a couple of long- neck tortoises, a couple of young magpies…and more ducklings. We’ve had to go off-call until new year because we ended up with over thirty ducklings! Most of them Pacific Blacks, but three are Australian Wood Ducks.

Three of the Pacific Blacks have already gone to a new home; the one we got on it’s own, one of the older ones that kept him company, and another one that came on it’s own since (he was slightly older too).

The first clutch of ducklings we got in are almost fully-grown now. They have only to grow their flights and they’ll be ready to take off (literally). Right now we are just trying to find them a home to take off from, as we don’t want them flying from here. Ten Pacific Blacks  are about three weeks old, and we currently have them in an old hutch. We are also trying to find them a home to be released at when they’re ready. We are having a Christmas party here at our place mid- December, and we don’t have the room to keep so many ducks here until they are all grown up. The Wood Ducks aren’t quite so messy and are easier to look after; and there are only three of them, so we are quite happy to look after them until they are also ready to fly.

However, whilst we sort out where the Pacific Blacks can go, they will stay here. The older ones are quite happy to wander free out the back. We can’t let the younger Blacks mix with the older ones, as the older ones will attack them. We can’t let the Wood ducks near them either for the same reason. There’s just too much of an age difference. Once they’re all fully- grown adults, however, I think they’ll be ok. They can all defend themselves and/or fly off if they need to.

Overall everything is well. We just need to find them safe release sights, which has been made difficult by the fact that many people are having fox problems at the moment. There are at least two people who may be able to take them, as they both have a dam on their property where the ducks could go for refuge if attacked or sleep at night; otherwise, while they can’t fly they are vulnerable.

All the ducklings are going well. In fact, the first lot we got in are spending their first night outside with no light tonight. The last two nights they had a light to gradually get them used to sleeping outside. At the moment they are in a hutch, but soon they will spend their nights in a puppy pen. The pen is for security; they cannot sleep outside without some sort of protection, as there are cats in this area and the ducklings have no means of defending themselves and can’t fly.  Also, they will finally be able to have a proper run around in the garden, and a proper swim in a small wading pool. They are about two weeks old.

The second clutch are about a week younger (so just over a week old). In a few days they will be transferred to the hutch at night (with a light) and then once they are sleeping without it they will be put together with the older ones. Unfortunately, two of them may be a little late.

The reason for that is that last night we got in a lone duckling (a Pacific Black- just like the rest of them). Where his siblings or his Mother got to, I don’t know. So he wouldn’t fret, I took two of the smallest ducklings from the second group that came in and put them in with this little guy. So far, they have been good buddies for him. The reason why I didn’t put him in with them was because he is too young, and too small. They could trample him and make it hard for him to get food and water. Once he is older and bigger, he will be put with them. The only problem is his two ‘buddies’ will then miss out a little because they are keeping him company. Hopefully he will start getting bigger pretty quickly soon (ducklings tend to “grow before your eyes”), and mingling him with the rest won’t be a problem.

Last night’s arrival brings the current grand total to twenty-one.

Yep…that’s about all I’m hearing today! Not even my Cockatiels have been making much noise today. They haven’t felt the need to! LOL

Two days ago a second duckling was found dead in the morning. I was shocked, and upset…not to mention angry and confused as I didn’t know what was wrong. We took the ducklings to the Vet for a check, but he couldn’t find anything wrong. All that can be presumed was that the ducklings had been through so much already that the ones that had died had used up all their reserves. Even though food, water and shelter was being provided, the damage had already been done. This second one was also one of the smaller ones out of the group.

Today we got called out to help catch a mother duck. All but one of her ducklings had already been captured by the residents. These ducks had, like many do, made the backyard and pool their home. The Chlorine is pools is actually toxic to ducks so it’s really not the best place for them.

The plan was to capture mother duck and her last duckling, gather them all together and relocate them. However, as I know from experience, the mother is always the trickiest to catch. Unfortunately, the capturing of the family had been done the wrong way around. To capture a duck and her young, you catch the MOTHER FIRST, and then the ducklings. This way, mother isn’t as likely to freak and fly away. She will stay with her young. Then, when RELEASING them again, you let the DUCKLINGS go FIRST and then the mother. If you let her go first, she may fly away out of fright and you’ll be left with the ducklings.

Of course, it is much easier said than done. Though ducklings are fast, tricky and- bouncy, they are easier to catch than the adults. Adults can fly, ducklings cannot; therefore they are easier to corner and catch. Unfortunately, in this case, the ducklings had been caught first, and they were already in a box and feeling stressed. The mother was also stressed, suspicious, but hanging around, not wanting to leave her clutch. We tried catching her, but it’s not easy. Becoming frightened she merely flew over our heads before we could get close enough, went back into the pool or squeezed under the gaps in the pool fences. She even flew into a window a couple of times. Fearing she was going to get injured in some way, or become too stressed; and fear for the already stressed ducklings in the box, we had no other choice but to make the hard decision to take the ducklings and leave mother behind. It was hard to take the ducklings with mother following behind, following the calls of her young. If there had been a pond, lake or creek within walking distance, we would have walked the ducklings there (with mother follwing) and then released them- but we couldn’t. The ducklings had to take priority. The nine of them are here now. Mother duck will be ok. She may wander around looking for them, but soon she will leave- and perhaps even come back to have another clutch.

Right now I’m a little more concerned about the ducklings. They seem physically healthy, but one in particular has not been quiet all day. They want their mother, but it’s just not possible. They will be ok, I just hope they sleep tonight! They are so small; we think they either hatched out yesterday or this morning. It has been quite a stressful time for them. I just wish there was some way that I could tell them that it’s ok; I wish there had been some way to tell the mother that we were trying to help.

It’s been a busy few days. On the eleventh we got a call about half a dozen ducklings running around on the Expressway. We could only give the advice to ring the police, as we can’t stop on the Expressway or halt traffic to rescue wildlife. The Police would work with the RSPCA (the police organizing traffic while the RSPCA rescue the ducklings). We didn’t hear about them after that call.

However, on the twelfth we received a call from  another Fauna Rescue member. She asked if we’d like to take six ducklings into our care. These ducklings had come to her from the RSPCA so it’s possible that they are the ones from the Expressway.

Yesterday we got another call for ducklings whose mother had flown off. It was another seven Pacific Blacks. As they seemed to only be at most a few days apart in age from the first six, they were put then with them.

We then lost one duckling last night 😦 I’m still not sure what was wrong with him (he was one of the smallest). It was painful to watch too. I put him in a seperate box with two others about his size, and put a light on them. I could not take him to a Vet as all the closest ones were closed at that time of night, and the Animal Hospital is almost half an hour away. I did not think he had long, and I didn’t know what to do as I didn’t know what was wrong. All I could do was keep him warm.

There are twelve now, and I am keeping a closer eye on the smallest ones. I had another scare today. We had the ducklings outside in a little carry basket with the lid open so they could get sunlight, but not escape. We then gave them some water, and I think the smallest must’ve got too wet. We let them dry in the sun for a bit before it went overcast and a bit of a chilly breeze came in (otherwise it was a beautiful day). Back inside in their box under the light, most of the ducklings preened themselves. But I then noticed that a rather small one was not preening himself, but still looked quite wet and was following the rest around trying to cuddle and get warm. The others would then just move around and continue preening, leaving this one to try someone else. I took him and two others, who looked just as small and almost as wet, out and put them into a seperate box and put the light on them (using another light for the others). All three cuddled together, but for a while I was still concerned. The little one was cold and shivering. It took over an hour before I saw any sign of improvement. I then saw him preen himself. Relieved, I gave it a little longer (watching to see if he continued to perk up) and then placed the three of them back in with the rest. They’re all huddling together again, but I’m still keeping a close watch on them.

And this is really only the start of the duckling season!