Sunday, October 28, 2007

14 days old, Little Wattle Bird chicks


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

13 comments:

Lavender said...

Yipper, I interfered - but Id do it again! LOL No way could I let that happen right in front of me!

This morning there is no sign of any Little Wattle Birds...so here ends our "exclusive coverage", Thank you all for enjoying these chicks with me, Cheers!

barkfoot said...

What a dilema. To let nature take it's course or to get on in there. I'd probably do the same as you, I'm too much of a softy. The Currwong won't starve and we've all got so attached to the little Wattle twins! Good on you. Sock attack...scary!

BetteJo said...

Well I'm glad you interfered because it sounds like it could have had a very different ending!
Thanks for sharing the little wattle birds journey from egg to flight - it's been so interesting!

merlinprincesse said...

PheW! You did well! :)

Ces said...

I am really laughing. You used heavy artillery on the currawong. Imagine being hit by socks from the laundry basket. What was the currawong thinking. "That crazy blonde woman hitting me with socks, I am really afraid". Okay. Enough. I would have probably done the same. What a scene. I hope the wattle family returns to visit you.

Lavender said...

Barkfoot Yeah, I couldnt just stand there and watch - way too attached! LOL The socks were pretty good actually, wouldnt hurt anyone but made my point :)

BetteJo Yeah, if we wanted an un-happy ending we could go find a blog that specializes in that, eh? LOL Im glad youve enjoyed watching them with me, Mwah!

MerlinPrincesse Shucks Merlinprincesse, thank you...I wouldnt have wanted to have that as a memory, that would be yucko.

Lavender said...

Ces Hehehe! I have to admitt Im a little proud of myself for thinking so quickly, and Actually Im sure thats exactly what the Currawong thought!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW ahhahahaa FULL ON EXCITEMENT! Thanks for the link, I have a Currawong post for tomorrow by co-incidence ;) Your image could have come from the same set of my fledgling red who was the same age at the time too! If this is the final 'little wattlebird' post it was an almighty great one Lavender :) Very funny too ...

Catherine said...

I love the angle of the photo. You're wattle bird looks so confident! The socks used as missiles was really funny!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Good for you, Lavender. They need a guardian like you. Too bad they don't thank you.

Lavender said...

Anon We sure have some great coincidences!!! Any other time Id have been glad to have that Currawongs visit - love thier songs!
The Red Wattle Birds that you have been following are so showy, and excellent posers!! Tehehe Ive loved watching your coverage of them.

Catherine Thanks Catherine...to get this photo I am nearly under the chick...I was so glad to see one of them...and even 'gladder' to be useful somehow LOL!

Captain Tehehe, well, I guess we could say Ive now paid them for starring in the blog! LOL

tracey said...

Hi, i just found a baby bird stuck in a fishtank of mud in my backyard, and i think it may of been a baby little wattlebird. Im not exactly sure how hurt or young it is but either it doesnt hav eits full feathers or it has been attacked. Im not sure what do feed it either. If you have any information on them it would be much appreciated!! ^_^

Lavender said...

Hi, how lucky I was checking email this afternoon! Good on you for looking after
the little bird, I hope he is just young and not injured....either way the very best
thing to do would be to call WIRES - since I do not know where you are located,
could I suggest you go to their website http://www.wires.org.au/
On the left hand side of the page you will see a link Have you found an injured animal?
click that and it has some basic info and a number to give them a call...they
often have a volunteer carer on call that will come and pick up the bird.
Thanks for getting in touch, sorry there isnt more I can do from here,
Warm Regards, Lavender