As I thought, there was one in the Macadamia tree, just a few metres from the Banskia that held the nest. Mummy & Daddy were calling from another tree encouraging the chick to have another go at flying, so I reluctantly retreated.
A short time later I was out again, and noted Mummy in the Banksia, making an odd call. I noticed then, a chick on the ground beneath her. Clearly Mummy was calling the chick up off the ground.
Suddenly a Currawong* flew into view and on toward the chick on the ground! I raced toward the endangered chick along with Mommy & Daddy, forming a three point attack. The parents were making thier clacking-bark war cry, while I shouted "No you dont!".
Just as the Currawong was within a foot of the chick, we three defenders were within a metre of our enemy. Discovering himself surrounded, he sharply adjusted his course upward, landing on a railing about four meters over our heads. Clearly he was prepared to wait. So we launched our attack afresh. The parents by air, and I by throwing socks from my laundry basket, till he flew off again. Daddy Wattle Bird chasing him further off than Mummy and I did.
I settled in the shade some metres from the banksia, where Mummy had resumed trying to call the chick up off the ground. Many minutes went by, I assumed the chick was either very tired or just plain scared. So I broke down, I couldnt help myself! I went right up to the chick, its eyes were closed...the poor dear really was just exhausted from the days drama.
So I picked him up, and tried to put him on a branch of the banksia, explaining to him, "You cant just sit there and wait to be eaten, Im not going to hurt you, I want you to hide in the tree with your Mum." Nup, not interested. The chick put out the alarm call and struggled in my hand. Both parents swooped in on me, they didnt peck me, but I could feel the wind from thier wings as they dived at me over and over, giving thier war cry and probably stern criticism for my interference.
Finally the chicks feet took the perch, and I retreated to the shade again. I knew the parents would want thier chick out of that tree, NOW! Sure enough, a few minutes later, chick followed Mummy across the lawn to the gum tree. I sighed with relief - theres a ton of cover on that side of the garden. Chick should be fine there.
Currawongs will take chicks for a snack! See a Currwong over at Bird Anonymous