Storm creates flood of baby chicks
It’s been a busy time for the ARRC Trust during the storm this week with chicks from many species being brought in to the holistic vet practice after falling from a tree or being blown out of their nests.
As well as tired little blue penguins being brought in from the beaches, ARRC Trust has received two baby moreporks, waxeyes, a kingfisher chick, and baby thrushes.
“Also lots of penguins coming through,” says ARRC Trust Director and Veterinarian Dr Liza Schneider.
“The bad weather has made a whole lot of trouble out there. Baby birds get blown out of the nests and the rough seas create havoc for seabirds.”
“The moreporks were brought in from a nearby retirement village,” says Liza. “Their nest was blown out of their tree in this rough weather.”
“Not an uncommon scenario at this time of the year. We’re inundated with lots of birds.”
Just a few weeks old, the pair of owls need to stay for two to three months. They’ll be raised until they fledge, cared for by one of the ARRC volunteers who has suitable facilities.
The thrush chicks are chirpy and wanting to explore beyond their small box in the ARRC hot water cupboard.
“They either blew out of a nest, or they ventured out, and people brought them in, concerned that cats would get them,” says Liza. “But at this age, if you can, it’s best to leave them with their mum and dad.”
The baby kingfisher didn’t arrive as a result of the storm.
“He was brought in a couple of weeks ago, just a little pink thing,” says Liza. “He’s growing up brilliantly, his feathers are coming through. When they’re like this they’re like a little pterodactyl, they make a real dinosaur noise.”
The kingfisher chick is fed every two to three hours, and has a big appetite.
“He’ll be staying with ARRC Trust for two to three months to ensure good feathering and some time in an aviary where he strengthen up his wings and can learn to feed himself.
“I always marvel at the great array of boxes that come in and the lengths that people go to, to help these little guys,” says Liza. The baby wax eye has a small nest inside a large nest. Fed every two hours, his feathers have come through well and the bird is quite strong.
“The next few days are critical, because sometimes the parents biff them out of the nest because there’s something wrong with them that we can’t pick up.”
The birds are mostly kept inside boxes in the hot water cupboard as they grow stronger and can be released once again. Liza says it’s essential that their wild instincts are kept active.