Resist the ‘cute factor’
Seeing a helpless baby bird stranded out of its nest tugs at the heart-strings of most people, but there is a simple message—leave that chick alone!
Spring is a time when many birds breed, which inevitably results in plenty of fluffy chicks in the neighbourhood, and some of them give a good impression of being abandoned and helpless when they’re on the ground.
However, don’t be fooled—you should resist the urge to rescue the bird, because usually they don’t need your assistance at all. Most just need to be left alone, and removing a baby bird from its environment is not always in its best interests.
People should ignore the ‘cute factor’ and dispassionately assess whether the bird really needs your help. Ask yourself these questions: Is the chick visibly injured? Is it in real danger of being killed or injured? If the answer is no, leave it alone—it’s the best thing to do.
Sometimes baby birds land on the ground when they’re learning to fly, but that doesn’t mean that they need your assistance. Usually their parents are nearby, waiting to feed and look after their young once you’ve left the scene.
If you find a nest that’s been blown onto the ground, replace it and its contents in a nearby shrub or tree so that the parent birds can continue to attend it. They will find it.
If you find a young Tawny Frogmouth on the ground, simply replace it in a nearby tree. It’s the safest place for it.
If you find a baby Masked Lapwing or plover on the ground, leave it where it is; after all, the ground is where they live. Its parents will be nearby (they’re probably swooping you right now).
If you find a chick on the ground and it is:
- clearly unattended by its parents (watch this from a distance for some time so you’re not keeping them away); and
- it’s in imminent danger from cats, dogs or traffic; and
- it can’t be left in a safe place nearby: do not attempt to look after the bird on your own. Place it in a dark, warm, dry place (such as a cardboard box with plenty of air holes, and padding such as a towel inside), keep it safe from the family cats and dogs, and then contact your local wildlife rescue shelter or vet straight away.
Remember, cute is not the same as helpless.
Attracting Australian wildlife isn’t an easy task. Natural wildlife visiting our homes and gardens is a rarity that we all enjoy. In this guide, we’ll show you how to increase biodiversity and attract some of the unique wildlife Australia has to offer.
When building your garden, the main factors for increasing biodiversity is providing shelter from predators, a water source, plants that attract prey, plants that provide food and adjoining bushland to your property.
Below is a link to a great resource from Sydney Gardners about how to make this happen.
You never know what might turn up in your garden.
Rare Tularaemia infection from possum scratch prompts warning [NSW]
20/05/2010 NSW Health Media Release: “NSW Health is urging people to avoid touching possums following the first probable case of the rare disease tularaemia in a NSW resident.
The woman was bitten and scratched by a ringtail possum in a Northern Sydney suburb in early March, and since developed symptoms including swollen lymph glands, fatigue, and a sore throat. Further testing is continuing to confirm the diagnosis. NSW Health’s Acting Director of Communicable Diseases, Ms Keira Glasgow, said that while the disease is highly contagious, most people fully recover with appropriate antibiotics.Click to View Map & Article
For many of us the world is a state of uncertainty and change at the moment. For some of us this may have been more recent with the Corvid-19 crisis but others within our wildlife community have been living in a heightened state for many many months as a result of the bushfire crisis. It’s the latter for which my heart goes out strongly with a voice saying ‘you are not forgotten’.
The critical role of volunteers within the wildlife rehabilitation sector is challenging and supporting the physical, mental and emotional wellness of these volunteers is vital. Many wildlife volunteers are drawn to the role because they prioritise the needs of animals, but it’s important to also remember that taking care to give care, means you also care for yourself so that you can care for wildlife for longer.
Two Green Threads has prepared the Take Care to Give Care guide with the purpose of helping build resilience for individuals and the wildlife volunteer sector as a whole. It first took shape during an earlier crisis but the prompts and tips are relevant not just in current times of crisis but also when the world returns to normality and the service of wildlife volunteers continues to be needed.
This guide offers information and prompts to help wildlife volunteers balance their care of wildlife with care for themselves.