A young lady on her way to work between Corndale and Clunes noticed a Kookaburra by the side of the road in the grass. As she passed she thought it was odd that the bird didn’t fly off, and although she was already late for work she went back. She quickly realised something was wrong and that the Kookaburra couldn’t fly so she contained him and called Wires.
Wires volunteer Deb picked the bird up and took him straight to Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital where he was x-rayed and assessed. It was clear that there were a few things amiss but swelling and bruising prevented a diagnosis. A second x-ray a week later when the swelling had gone down showed a rib fracture as well as lung and stomach issues.
Felix as he was named spent the first week in intensive care with his head firmly turned to one corner. Adult Kookaburras are tough, stoic and they hate being in care, Felix was no exception.
The entire time Felix was in care he needed assist feeding as he refused to self-feed. Kookaburras are highly strategic with those big beaks and aim to cause maximum harm; once he felt better he managed to deliver one good bite just to ensure his carer was aware he did not agree with his confinement.
Felix slowly recovered and the day Deb found him up on a perch she knew he was definitely going to make a full recovery. A short time later he was moved into a large aviary where he could regain flight strength.
Yesterday it was time for Felix to go home.
WIRES volunteer Deb arranged to meet and then followed the young lady that had found Felix, in order for him to be returned to exactly the same spot where he had been fund. Kookaburras are fiercely territorial and form long life bonds with their mates; they will kill or seriously harm a Kookaburra found in their territory that is not from their family.
Felix took off out of the rescue basket and flew up and into a huge tree almost instantly the basket was opened, moments later Kookaburra calls could be heard and his mate flew from across the road to sit next to him. Felix and his mate called and several other family members flew into the tree, Felix was home!
Thank you to the young lady that took the time to stop for this bird, and to Byron Bay Wildlife hospital, Felix would most certainly not have survived without your help.
By Deborah Pearce