What a hot dry spell. I was lucky enough to get 50ml in the last storm which half-filled my rainwater tanks , so the water can quench the thirst of my native garden and wildlife that are feeling the heat stress also. It is lovely to watch the birds bathing in the bird baths. Even the little skinks look happier! The large round terracotta dishes are good to put on top of shallow bird baths as the water stays cooler for longer.
I think 2017 will go down in history as the year of the stolen generation of magpie chicks. Many of the young birds are unnecessarily taken away from their parents. Often they are just learning to fly and aren’t as proficient as they think they are. Others fall out of nests, or the nests are blown down by gusty winds.
The best scenario is that any chicks are checked for injuries then reinstalled in a man-made nest as near as possible to where found. They don’t have to be in the exact same tree, or nest, which is often too high to be accessible. Human handling does not make the parents reject their young. Do we reject our babies if someone else nurses them?
The chicks are then observed from a distance to ensure the parent birds are still around and haven’t been eaten by a predator. Usually the parent birds appear in a reasonably short time and recommence the arduous chore of feeding the every-hungry chicks.
It is of utmost importance that if birds are taken to a vet surgery, wildlife hospital or a wildlife carer, that the address (where found) is written on the carton, along with the rescuers name and phone number if possible. If we can find out where chicks came from, and if it is safe to return them, then we can take them back and reunite them with Mum and Dad.
Wildlife carers are skilled, and do their very best, but nothing can compare to the nutrition and environment provided by their own species.
Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS)
PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560 PH 5441 6200 www.wilvos.org.au