Feathers and emotional rescues

I have to hand it to my husband … I never really know what he’s going to come up with next.  One minute he can be all tough talk and no nonsense.  And the next?  Well, let me illustrate…

Two days ago he drove off to do some chores ‘up the paddock’ (which is a lovely open term which can mean pretty much anything) and then arrived back within five minutes.  He walked towards the house cradling something in his arms…

This kind of feathered something…


A feathered and injured something…

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A young,  feathered and frightened something…


Noting it’s beak and talons, we guessed it was a chicken hawk (something locals seem to colloquially call similar birds).  As soon as Mr Incredible had untangled it’s left talon from it’s right wing (which appeared injured and possibly broken) I brought out the closest thing to raw red meat I could find thawed – some sausage mince (I was mid-sausage roll making in the kitchen at the time).

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He (or she, I have even less idea about identifying sex of birds than I do identifying type!) seemed interested when the mince was on the fork brandished by my husband…


And after much debate we agreed to settle him in the night coop we used for the ducklings (I know – and I swore off caring for feathered creatures a long time ago too!).


He seemed bemused but resigned to us carting him about in a cardboard box to his new enclosure.


There were a number of interested onlookers…


Axel behaved reasonably but was intensely curious about the large flapping creature on the deck… (Rosie, in background, was more interested in if it was bottle time yet!).


He really was very beautiful and seemed to know we were trying to help him.

I posted an immediate image up on Facebook and received some help in identifying him (juvenile Pacific Baza), lots of contacts* for rescue groups (although none within a couple of hundred kms of here) and hints.  We offered him water, mince and shelter (we have a cat and this cage was really the only safe place from Middy and Axel) and covered it with a sheet.


As many noted, wild birds are notoriously hard to help – especially when older than chicks.


Sadly our little friend didn’t make the night through…

We found him claws-up, mince untouched.  Perhaps it was the shock of being injured (we don’t know if a vehicle hit him or he simply misjudged a hunting dive) –  I guess we will never know.  I try to focus on the fact that at least another creature (wild or domestic) didn’t maul him.  I am glad we got to meet him, and Dash and Violet and Salina got to wonder at his beauty also.

Have you ever successfully rescued a half-grown wild bird?

All tips happily received for the next time my husband plays Knight in Shining Armour to a creature in distress.



PS Things might be quiet here for the next week – branding starts very early tomorrow morning!  Wish us luck and non-heatstroke temperatures please.

*Thanks so much Gabi -sorry we didn’t get a better outcome.

9 Responses to “Feathers and emotional rescues”

  1. Thanks to you guys for trying. It’s very heartwarming for me to read about others helping our native wildlife in their time of need. I wish I could have helped more.

  2. Never. I have happily driven two hours to be rid of them at the local sanctuary. I can’t pass them by, but can’t stand to watch them die. Good news is that the sanctuary has a pretty good average with what I take in.
    debby´s last blog post ..Different

  3. Poor thing – but he died in a safe place (even if he didn’t know it).

    Good luck with the branding – we will have a watermelon slushie for you this afternoon.
    jeanie´s last blog post ..Grandma Jean and genetic traits

  4. What a beautiful story.
    Sending luck for branding.
    Hope the temps don’t get as high as they’re forecasting!!

  5. Never done birds before we but we’ve had a string of poddy calves and lambs. As you know calves are reasonably hardy, but lambs are a different matter all together – we often call them ‘the wanna dies’ because they can be so difficult to raise. I hate seeing injured or sick animals of any kind and always try to help… Don’t always succeed.
    Fleur McDonald´s last blog post ..The dreaded Christmas card

  6. Brings back memories – my father came home one day with two baby, what we called eagle hawks, the ones farmers used to shoot in the ’70’s. I have memories of them bring housed in a box similar to the one you used and feeding them liver!!! We also raised the odd looking tawny frogmouth. Dad hasn’t changed last week he discovered a young tawny frogmouth and is tenderly caring for it at the moment. Perhaps my mum has some advice on how to handle the ‘tough knight in shining armour from the bush’.

    • Doesn’t sound like she ‘handles it’ at all Carolyn! LOL. I don’t mind trying if we have a chance of saving them – just want to be better prepared I guess. Still proud of keeping three ducklings alive!!

  7. Had to google Tawny frogmouths right away. LOL.
    debby´s last blog post ..Different

  8. Magoo wants to live at your house.
    Let me know when’s good…
    JENNY TALIA´s last blog post ..hit pic, january 16, twenty thirteen

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