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Kookaburra chicks reunited

DACELO NOVAEGUINEAE

Story and images by Melanie Barsony

A member of the public brought me the first of 3 Kookaburra nestling after he had fallen from his nest hollow near the racecourse at Casino. The tree was tall, spindly and full of white ants. He weighed 278 grams and was covered in the largest pin feathers I had ever seen! Three days later his sibling also fell (288 grams) and then a third who unfortunately didn't’t survive the fall.
I kept them in a substitute nest hollow made from a cardboard box and once they felt safe started to feed voraciously. The larger kookaburra was always more aggressive and ate more than his brother.
After two weeks both left the nest and were perching well, even grabbing and banging their food.
Then began the process of reuniting them with their parents. I took them to the racecourse in a large cage and hung it in a tree, then returned throughout the day to feed them. I brought them home at night for fear of predators trying to get them. The parents were around at times. After the forth day the parents were sitting on the cage and feeding the chicks through the wire, so I opened the cage.

They were observed over the next few days sitting together high in a tree, with the parents around.
We are having a nest box made and will attach it to a more suitable tree, so hopefully next breeding season their young will be safe.

 

 

Updated January 11, 2017  

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