The final hatching of Dusky Moorhen eggs

Wildlife caring is always rewarding, as it is something that is so badly needed all over the world.

I thought hatching plovers from eggs and rearing them to release was a highlight, but this week it has been been dusky moorhen eggs. A little more tiring! The easy part is hatching the eggs. Give them the right conditions and watch and wait. The on-going rehabilitation aspect is more nerve-racking. Plovers have the bonus of just having to quickly learn the pecking habit and they feed themselves. Food has to be supplied of course.

When driving down to Coolum to take a lorikeet to Jeanette, another lovely wildlife carer, I received a phonecall from the local vet surgery to say they had some, what they thought were swamphen, eggs brought to them. I went into the vets with a small box and lots of paper towel to cushion the eggs.(I didn’t think to carry around an egg carton as part of my car rescue kit!). What I was handed was a much larger carton containing a solid, intricately woven nest, rescued from the waters edge, before death and destruction was wreaked on the waterway. It contained ten eggs! Aaaaggghhh! How sad is it that these ‘close to hatching’ eggs can’t be left for a week? Incidentally it is illegal to remove eggs without Government permission.

One egg had promptly hatched and I wasn’t optimistic for the others, not knowing just how they had been jiggled about! Within four days there were ten very cute dusky moorhen chicks battering down the door of the humidicrib every half an hour. I tried to feed every twenty minutes but that became impossible due to the time constraints. They were fast learners and I became skilled at imitating mother moorhen by dangling food above their heads. A yellow plastic tweezers was the closest I could find to mothers yellow beak and the little balls of fluff fed immediately. They were soon encouraged to follow the ‘yellow beak’ down to the dish and partly feed themselves.

It is actually a blessing in disguise being housebound with constantly hungry chicks. This time of year is confusing to say the least. Supposedly a happy holiday time and yet people are running around in a frenzy, when they should be just keeping it simple and relaxing. I love Christmas as presents are ‘home made’ or ‘computer created’. I enjoy cooking a few different things – always quick and easy recipes. I love the time with my family. I save my stressing for sick and orphaned wildlife!

I hope everyone has bought wildlife friendly presents. An aviary for the cat or kitten, lovingly furnished with the latest in cat playgym equipment! Nestboxes for possums and birds also help our wildlife survive in an environment which is based on destroying as much habitat as is humanely possible.

Happy Christmas holiday wishes to all and may 2017 be the best year ever for you.

Don’t forget the comfort of your pets in this time of fun, frivolity and fireworks!