WILDLIFE NEWS

MEET A LOCAL

 cookoo

This little fellow came into care recently.  I called him “Coconut”.... He is an Eastern Koel (Eudynamis orientalis). This is a migratory cuckoo species much like the Channel-billed Cuckoo but smaller in size. An adult Koel is about 39-46cm as opposed to 60-67cm for an adult Channel-billed Cuckoo. The juvenile and immature birds are barred as are the adults females, the adult males are glossy black. Like most cuckoos, koels are parasites of other birds, laying their eggs in their nests and allowing the surrogate parents to rear the young.

We have a dozen species of cuckoo in Australia.   Each species of cuckoo tends to target specific types of birds as hosts. The larger Channel-billed Cuckoo tends to parasite crows, magpies and currawongs.  Koels generally use the larger honeyeaters such as wattlebirds, friarbirds, miners and blue-faced honeyeaters. They also use peewees, figbirds and orioles.  The exception to this “nest-pirate” behaviour is our Pheasant Coucal, which actually makes its own nest on the ground and raises its own young.  Hairy caterpillars and other insects are the main food of these birds, making them very useful garden visitors. 

So if you see some miners chasing one of these little guys around your garden, don’t be alarmed – they’re probably the “hoodwinked” foster parents trying to get their much larger “offspring” back in line!

Item submitted by Julia Chew.- Carer with O.N.A.R.R.(Orphaned Native Animal Rear & Release Assoc. Inc.)

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turtleICON3The year is half over already! In the first half we had our share of visits by Natalie from Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast, for Burrum Heads wildlife in trouble. Most recently a juvenile Black Flying-fox and a Green Sea Turtle.
This young Black Flying-fox was entangled in a fisherman’s tackle that had been left dangling in an overhanging branch at the caravan park. 'Hannah', as she was named, had a hook firmly embedded in the back of her head / neck area, and also bad tissue damage and bruising from the line being wrapped around her wrist and elbow.
After emergency vet treatment, which included sedation to safely and painlessly remove the hook and clean the wound thoroughly, 'Hannah' was transferred through to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for further specialist treatment. She has since gone out for rehabilitation care with a bat carer. When fully recovered, she will be released back to the wild, to carry on with the important work of pollinating and fertilising trees!

** Please remember - only people who are vaccinated, experienced bat rescuers or carers should attempt to handle a bat of any kind.
"No touch = no risk!"
Angela Bell (Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast) also drove over from Hervey Bay in case more hands were needed, and took these photos to share.....

In response to Anne and Peter’s request, the Council have trimmed the overhanging branches
Please take care and dispose of any fishing line/tackle/plastic properly – these all present life-threatening hazards to our sea birds and other wildlife.

batResiz      Rummy5

This Green Sea Turtle (“Rummy”) was phoned in by Nikita from Sirenia Beach after being found lying listless and unresponsive on the beach. Thankfully his finders realised he was in trouble and needed help. We took him to Natalie who arranged his transfer to Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital next morning.

'Rummy' the Green Sea Turtle made a full recovery, and has been released back to the ocean in just the last few days. S/he was believed to be suffering from exhaustion and possibly some bruising.  X-rays and blood tests were all clear, but he was given the usual, standard 'protocol treatment', for convalescing Sea Turtles to be on the safe side, and make sure nothing was missed.

Happily he went from strength to strength while in care and was good to go back to the wild where he belongs.  He weighed 9.4kg, and would be around 10 to 15 years of age (give or take - hard to give a definitive age for them), and is classed as a 'juvenile'.
So not a 'floater', not injured, not ill as such.  Just a tuckered-out little Turtle!!, and very lucky to have been found and come in for r'n'r'. Thanks Natalie for this update on Rummy’s outcome, and sending us this picture of Rummy prior to going to AZWH!
                          ..............  Love our wild life !    Julia C.


  NOT-SO-WILD NEWS.......

This is PIPPA’s STORY... Many of you will be well acquainted with a very special Burrum Heads crested pigeon (commonly called a “Topknot”) by now, so I should let you know about her.
Her name is Pippa, and she was referred to me in July 2015 by the RSPCA, following destruction of her nest in a storm at River Heads, where she was found being attacked by a savage band of noisy miners.  Because she was so young (eyes closed/no feathers) she required crop feeding every 2 hours for some time. 

 Pippa 2  Pippa 3  pippa 4

The extent of her injuries meant bathing her wounds daily. Unfortunately, this care and handling meant she became very humanised – which we try to avoid if possible with injured wildlife. She was released in November 2015, but still comes home every morning for a yarn (moreso a “coo”), health check and cuddle, before heading off on her rounds to visit her favourite people and places.

Even before her flying lessons, she was introduced to the local flock of crested pigeons, to teach her about “pecking order” stuff. Unfortunately, she also got pally with Molly next door (my neighbours’ dog), who is always nice to Pippa; unfortunately, most dogs are not. And, though most people who know Pippa enjoy her little visits, many people don’t.

  pippa 5  pippa 6

During my absence last Monday, Pippa once again fell afoul to some marauding birds, and lost some back and tail feathers. She’s not been venturing out a lot this past week, but is doing well, and am sure she’ll return to her usual “rounds” as soon as she’s feeling confident again.
Her visiting area would appear to have extended from one end of BH to the other! She is likely to drop in at your feet uninvited to help you weed the garden, or dig a hole or plain stickybeak at your activities. She attended the concert last month in the hall (uninvited), and has been known to drop into Foodworks, crash a few meetings; and also try to get a ride on the school bus... Do not be alarmed – please be nice to Pippa; ‘tis not her fault she’d rather be with people than pigeons!
Love our wild life !
Julia.

 

 INDIAN MYNA

What's wrong with the Indian Myna that is invading parts of Burrum Heads?

It attacks other birds and, at best, drives them away, consequently affecting their nesting area. Our native birds, which are plentiful at the moment, will possibly diminish with the explosion (that's what it will seem like) of the Indian Myna.  I think strenuous steps should be taken to eliminate this pest now! If we don’t we will be the losers.

I understand that a trap is being provided by council (Animal Control 1300794929) to a resident at Sirenia Beach. (One person can make a difference!)

Also, another concerned resident at the Burrum Heads Progress Association meeting told me that Indian Myna were decimating the fruit in her garden.

Some of us, as we have moved around Australia, have seen the devastating affect the Indian Myna can have when it takes over a community.

What is the solution? MORE TRAPS NOW!

miner noisy resiz

                                                                                             Australian Noisy Myna

mynaIindianResiz

                                                                                                         Indian Myna

There is some concern that we will get mixed up with the difference between the Noisy Miner (Mickey) and the Indian Myna. The Indian Myna is chocolate brown with a black head and only white under its tail, with a little white on the end of its tail feathers.  The Noisy Miner is grey backed and almost all white under parts, with just a bit of black around the eyes.

                                                                 …………… Richard Thorne