Thursday, 10 November 2011

Frogmouth dramas

Spoiler: the story has a happy ending!

A strong thunderstorm passed through here about 11:30 last evening (9 November).  It was followed by very strong winds and when I went to check the frogmouths in the morning one was on the ground.
 I was a bit concerned about this: while the bird seemed reasonably relaxed there and the parents (and its sibling) were above it, there are foxes and snakes in the area and I would not put it past a Pied Currawong to attack the poor little thing.  So I rang Wildcare who advised me to try to put it back in a tree and let the parents "talk" it back to where it would be with them.
 The chick wasn't totally happy with my presence, showing the full extent of its gape.
 However I was able to capture it ....
 and put it on a branch.
It didn't like this at all and promptly fluttered back down to the ground.
I then jammed a basket into a fork and placed the bird in there where I thought it was stable.  However by the time a Wildcare person turned up to assess the situation it had vanished and we couldn't find it in the vicinity.  If it had tried to fly out of the basket and been caught by a gust of wind it could have been blown anywhere.  The conclusion was that the parents will have kept an eye on it and if the wind drops ((I hate strong winds with a passion anyway) they will try to coax it back to safety.

It did seem that the parents were getting stressed - Dad moved from the branch alongside the other chick - and both did a lot of 'ooming' while I was in the area.  So I have just left them to sort it out, and will see how many I can find tomorrow morning.

I didn't do too well at the "leaving them alone" routine having several more searches of the area during the day.  However on the morning of the 11th all 4 were back in their roost in the Acacia tree!!  I don't know where it spent yesterday, nor how the parents got it back in the air,  but this is really really pleasing!

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