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Carers stories archive

Carers stories 2015


On this page we will keep you informed about animals that you have brought in to care with WIRES Northern Rivers branch. If you would like to know about a particular animal, please email us, and we will do what we can to keep you up to date.


December 31

This little kookaburra was rescued by Geoff and Peter, tourists from Sydney. It was found on the ground under a very tall bangalow palm outside their holiday rental in Byron Bay. They could see the nest, and the parent birds flying in and out, but it was too high to reach. They picked up the little one and put it in a warm place on the deck, where Mum continuously came down to feed it.





They borrowed a ladder and tried to get to the nest, but it was just too high. They then called WIRES for help, and a temporary nest for the chick was placed lower down in a nearby tree.

 Early the following day, the WIRES rescuer returned with a builder and long ladder and pole, but it was still not enough to reach the nest. The chick was brought into care while a solution was sought to the reunification problem.





Essential Energy were called to see if they could help – and on a very busy New Year’s eve, they could! Josh and Ben came to the rescue with their high lift truck. These two wonderful Essential Energy employees put the truck in position, and took the chick right up to the  opening. There it was gently placed inside the nest, alongside its sibling and an egg. Mum watched on anxiously from the nearby power lines. Neighbours who had helped in the rescue were also keen observers.


After the truck bucket was lowered, Mum was seen going into the nest to welcome the young one home. Many thanks to the wonderful tourists, residents and power company crew who helped this little one have a very happy new year with its family

Images by Barbara Wilkins




November 10

WIRES NR received a call recently from someone who has witnessed neighbouring dogs chasing a wallaby. Unfortunate;y this is something that happens regularly where Macropods (kangaroos, pademelons and wallabies) are found.

Unfortunately Macropods do not handle stressful situations, and when chased by a dog  even though the wallaby may have escaped what we seldom see is the end result, which is a horrible condition called Stress Myopathy.

Stress Myopathy -- a gradual breakdown of muscle tissue over a period of 3 days and up to two weeks which causes increasing physical weakness until the animal is literally dragging itself around until it finally dies-- a drawn out and horrible way to die. The animal does not have to be injured directly to develop this condition, the stress of the incident itself will start the process of Stress Myopathy to develop which is irreversible and has no treatment.

If you have pets, please take care to contain them properly, especially at dusk, during the night, and at dawn when many native wildlife are out and about. It will keep your beloved pets safer, too. If you exercise or walk your dog in areas where macropod live, please ensure your dog is on a lead.

If you spot wildlife in trouble, call WIRES on the local Hotline at 6628 1898. Any time. 24 hours/7 days.




The Brush Turkey is found on the east coast of Australia living in rainforest, wet open forest, and some dry inland areas. It is part of the Megapode family -- birds that are mound builders -- and feeds on fruit, seeds and insects. The Brush turkey is mainly a ground bird, but roosts in trees at night, and can in fact fly quite well when it has to.

Brush Turkeys scratch leaf matter and soil together into a huge mound, measuring up to 4 meters across and 1 meter high. The female lays 15-24 eggs in tiers in a deep hole in the mound's top. The heat generated by the decomposing leaf matter, combined with the sun’s heat, incubates the eggs at about 33-35 degrees. The temperature is tested by the bird sticking its beak in to the mound, and material is either added or removed to achieve the right temperature. Males build the nest and tend the eggs.
When the eggs hatch, the fully feathered chicks dig their own way out and are independent of their parents from the very start and quite able to fend for themselves.

Image by Sharon McGrigor




November 21

“Alo” is a juvenile Tawny Frogmouth and last week he was taken to Goonellabah Vet clinic by Silvana with a tick just below his eye. Silvana had discovered little Alo on the ground with is eye closed due to the tick.
He was taken into care by WIRES; picture shows Alo in care in the company of a larger tawny frogmouth in care at the time, (Alo is the smaller one in the picture.)

After a week Alo had fully recovered, he had also grown quite a bit, and he was taken back to Silvana’s garden and placed near his parents.

Silvana writes:
We were so excited the following morning when we checked in on “Alo” to discover he has a sibling!
Alo was nestled between his ‘brother’ and parent with the other parent a foot further down on the same branch.
So amazing to see such affection in raw nature.
We named him Alo which is a Native American Indian word for Spiritual Guide - He who looks up. We thought this resonated the best as he is always looking up - to his parents, to carers, rescuers, to hope and future.

Thank you Silvana for being vigilant and acting when you found this little fellow in trouble and for sending the wonderful pictures of Alo safely reunited with his family.


Images by Silvana and Julie Marsh




November 18

What was thought to be a routine call to the WIRES Northern Rivers Hotline turned out to be a very unusual story.

The caller reported a bird that couldn't fly in Lismore. When the bird was rescued, it was at first thought to be albino. However, the bird is actually leucistic, that is with blue eyes, pink beak and feathers that are not completely white.

True albinism is caused by a complete lack of melanin, the naturally occurring pigment that gives colour to the skin, feathers, hair and eyes. Vertebrates with albinism are not only white (or sometimes pale yellowish) in colour but they also have very pale eyes, often pink or red in colour as the blood vessels show through. Leucism, on the other hand, is a partial loss of pigmentation, which can make the animal have white or patchily coloured skin, hair, feathers and so on, but the pigment cells in the eyes are not affected by the condition. In this case, our white crow's eyes are blue. Few albino or leucistic animals survive into adulthood in the wild, most often due to eyesight problems or harassment by other birds.

The crow is too young to be flying properly but is also a bit underweight and tattered so will need to regain weight and strength before undergoing a full physical at the vet.

There is a possibility for release back into the wild after some time spent in care or this bird may go to a sanctuary if unable to be released.


Images by Melanie Barsony




15 November

One year ago today a heat wave struck the Northern Rivers of NSW, and over 5000 flying-foxes died in Casino alone. Today, wildlife carers remember the thousands of flying foxes who unfortunately lost their lives, but also celebrate the over 400 orphans who were rescued, saved and released. We remember the incredible team work that arose across the country with wildlife carers and members of the public pulling together to assist.





The Noisy Miner is perhaps the best known native honey-eater in Eastern Australia. Male and female look the same -- upper parts a motley grey, wings slightly darker grey with yellow flecks, under parts whitish. They have a bright yellow triangular patch just behind their brown eye and their beak and legs are also yellow.
They live in very territorial groups of around 6-30 birds combined into a loose colony of up to several hundred. They mob predators, becoming particularly noisy (hence the name) when ganging up on snakes and goannas and are very successful at driving other birds away.
A communal song of teu-teu-teu to establish their territory can be heard just before sunrise and they will continue to sing, chirp, whistle and chatter through the day as they forage in bushes and trees, or through bark and leaves for insects that may have dropped to the ground. They are also nectar and fruit eaters and delight in harvesting from flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs.
Their breeding season is June-December. Up to 20 metres high in a tree and on her own, the female builds a cup-like nest. She lays 2-4 eggs a day apart for staggered hatching and incubates them for 15-16 days. When chicks emerge, up to 10 males may join in their feeding. Nestlings take about 16 days to leave the nest and several broods may be laid in one season.
If you find a chick on the ground, please contact WIRES for rescues, advice or inquiries on our 24-hour Hotline - 6628 1898.




November 8

You may remember we posted a story on 6 September re two rainbow lorikeet chicks that lost their home when an old tree was felled.

They are now ready to go back to the wild and will be released this coming week.

Their carer comments: It has been a wonderful experience being involved in their care and watching them come through the different stages of development. To remain wild after being in care for so long is amazing.


Images by Melanie Barsony and Julie Marsh




November 1

Four just out of the egg Welcome swallow chicks were brought into care after WIRES NR was contacted by road workers near Knockrow just over a week ago. The nest had been located in a tree that unfortunately was to be removed in order for the work to progress on the highway upgrade.

One of our volunteers went to the location to see if it would be possible to move the nest to a more suitable location. When our volunteer looked inside the nest she was surprised to find the female swallow dead on top of her chicks, two eggs were also in the nest as well as the four tiny chicks chirping loudly for food.

The nest was taken down, and the tiny chicks weighing less than 2 gram were fed. The remaining two eggs were tested and found to have no chicks within.
Unfortunately one chick died shortly after coming into care, but the remaining three are all doing well and have more than doubled in size in a week.

They will be released into the wild as soon as they can fly and catch their own food.

WIRES Northern Rivers would like to thank Tintenbar road workers for taking the time to check the trees before felling and for contacting us straight away.

Image by Jane Donovan




October 28

It is easy to follow basic emergency wildlife care principles to assist WIRES with rescues.

Native animals do not show stress like domestic pets. They keep silent and try to hide their injuries; in the wild an injured animal is easy prey. Wild animals are not used to being handled and are very susceptible to stress. If handled improperly they are likely to struggle and possibly hurt the rescuer or further injure themselves. It is crucial to take care with the rescue of any native animal and to reduce stress as much as possible.

Firstly, remove any threat to the animal. This may mean locking up your pets until the animal is rescued. Even if your pet poses no risk, its very presence causes anxiety. Place a towel or blanket over the animal, gently place in a box and put in a warm, quiet, dark room. Do not try to give it water or food. Call WIRES who will advise you what else to do until a trained rescuer comes.

Echidnas are different - they do not need warmth. Call WIRES for specific advice.

Please do not be tempted to care for native animals yourself. Native animals need specialist care and specialised food.
All WIRES rescuers and carers are trained to handle these animals.
And remember: It is against the law to keep native animals taken from the wild.
Contact WIRES for rescues, advice or enquiries. The 24-hour Hotline is for all calls to WIRES in the Northern Rivers - 6628 1898.

Image by Sharon McGrigor



October 25

Kara came into care five weeks ago looking nothing like she does today.

Today is Kara's carers Birthday and what a wonderful surprise she got when this morning Kara opened her eyes for the first time.
As you can see in the picture spines are now showing, but he/she is still deaf, ears are yet to open.

You can read Kara's story if you scroll down to October 2 below.

Image by Leoni Byron-Jackson




October 24

Millie is a Red-Necked wallaby joey found by a school boy traveling home on the school bus. As soon as he was off the bus he asked dad to drive to the spot where he had seen a dead wallaby, as he had also seen a little joey standing nearby.

Dad drove back to the spot and that is how Millie (as she was named by her rescuer) came into care.

Millie’s tail was badly damaged; most likely she was thrown out of the pouch on impact when mum was killed. Millie has lost a small section of her tail, luckily not enough for her to loose balance, in fact within the next 4-5 weeks she should have made a full recovery.

She is still very young; most of her time would have been spent within mums pouch, hopping out only when mum felt secure knowing nothing would disturb the youngster whilst she was learning how to hop on those long legs.

Millie is seen here resting after her tail operation, next week she will go back to the vet to have her bandage checked. As she is only a young joey her bandage must be checked regularly as she is growing fast.

Image by Renata Phelps




October 14

WIRES Northern Rivers’ first flying-fox pup of the season has been rescued in Mullumbimby. He was found on the ground by children at the Shearwater school.

His umbilical cord was still attached and he was cold. The WIRES volunteer was able to warm the pup, give him a dummy and dribble some rehydration fluid down the side of the dummy for life-saving emergency care. He is now being kept in a humidicrib because he is so premature. This grey-headed flying-fox has been named Abraham.  His eyes haven’t opened yet and he’s only managing 1 ml of milk per feed. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow well.

During the next two months it’s birthing time for our flying-foxes. Female flying-foxes are more likely to be victims of barbed wire and netting entanglement as well as electrocution on power lines because they are carrying a pup latched on to a nipple in her wingpit. Such an adult female might have a little baby tucked under her wing which might not be apparent at first.

If there is a flying-fox on power lines, mostly it will have been electrocuted. However, if it is a female, it might have a live pup on board. So we ask members of the public to look for signs of movement on a power line electrocuted bat.

Call WIRES Northern Rivers 66281898 to report electrocutions during this time. Essential Energy technicians are often able to rescue pups from power lines and hand them to a waiting WIRES bat carer.

Image by Lib Ruytenberg




October 8

An excavator operator was getting ready to clear a block of land in Goonellabah when he heard noises coming from a tree stump. When he investigated he found 6 Eastern Rosella chicks in the stump.

WIRES was called and whilst talking to the excavator on site, two adult Rosellas flew from nearby bushes to where the tree stump stood. Unfortunately there was no way of saving the stump so the chicks were taken into care.


Just before dusk and after the excavation work was done two Wires volunteers returned to the site to place a nesting box in a nearby tree hoping to reunite the chicks with their parents.



Unfortunately it had become very windy, there was still a lot of noise and the parent birds did not show up. The chicks were brought back into care; another attempt would need to be made the following day.
The next morning at dawn it was still and calm, all the wild birds were waking up and starting to feed, 2 adult eastern rosellas did a fly over where our nesting box was placed and landed in some nearby trees but they did not come to the box.
Looking around, another tree was located nearby and the nesting box was relocated to that tree. The chicks were placed in the box and our volunteer stood back and once again waited hoping the parents would accept this location.  They did, and before long they were busy feeding their chicks.

 Thank you to Mark and his men for checking the building site before
clearing and for calling WIRES.

Image by Julie Marsh




October 7

It is the season when snakes are noticeably active. Being aware of these facts may help you if you encounter a snake.


Snakes are more defensive and territorial during the spring so giving them a wider berth is a good idea. Many people pass close to snakes every day but because snakes are so afraid of us and prefer to stay out of our way, we never notice.


Snakes know where to find the food, water and shelter in their territory and learn the daily movements of the resident humans.

In reality, it is only occasionally that snakes and humans come into conflict -- generally because the snake cannot make a quick exit. Never try to catch or kill a snake. Snakes are not normally aggressive; however, they will defend themselves if threatened and this is when most snakebites occur.

Snakes are protected by law and play an important role in the environment. Relocating snakes out of their territory puts them at risk of not finding water and food, and they may die trying to get back home. Also, when you remove your resident snake, a stranger snake that does not know your movements may then move into your territory and increase the risk to you.

Remember that a resident carpet python can be a benefit: it will easily keep rodents in check!

It is possible to discourage snakes by keeping your lawn neat and disposing of excessive leaf litter and other garden waste. Do not leave building materials, woodpiles or compost near the house. Snake-proof your aviaries, pet enclosures and chicken pens with 1cm square mesh wire.

Check that windows and doors have secure insect screens and weather strips to close gaps at ground level. Try to train all family members to keep screen doors closed. Keep garage doors closed. Place water at your fence line to minimise the need for snakes to come near the house. Call WIRES if you have questions.

WIRES will come to the rescue if a snake is inside a house. If possible leave the snake an avenue of escape: close the room off and leave outer doors and windows open so the snake can leave when it no longer feels threatened. Call the Hotline for support. If you have a snake caught in netting, or if a snake has been in the same position for a number of days, please give us a call for advice.

WIRES is a state-wide organisation with branches all over New South Wales. There is a 1300 rescue line and a wildlife rescue mobile phone app that connect you with Sydney, great tools if you are travelling around the state and away from the Northern Rivers. However, if you live in the Northern Rivers, or are travelling in the region, please use the local number. It connects you to your local WIRES volunteers immediately and ensures the most rapid response they can muster.

Call 6628 1898. Any time. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. For rescues and much more. Our full name is Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service. Need additional information or educational help about wildlife? Whatever your concern, our Hotline is for all calls to WIRES in the Northern Rivers.

Take a few moments to put our Hotline number 6628 1898 into your mobile phone. Next time you are out and about and spot wildlife in need, it will be that much easier to reach WIRES.

WIRES is a registered charity, not a government service, and relies heavily on donations from the general public.

Images by Jacob Armstrong and Sue Ulyatt




October 4

The Red-necked Pademelon lives in rainforest and eucalypt forest, often on the edge of the forest hiding in the thicker part and coming out to feed on lush grasses under the cover of darkness. Unfortunately the greenest grass is often on the verge of the road.

This little Pademelon joey was orphaned two nights ago on a sparsely populated, dead end road leading to pristine rain forest. The motorist did not stop when he fatally hit mum .


A local resident family on their way home came across the sorry sight of mum on the road and this little joey sitting next to her uninjured.






Clementine, named by the family that found her, is in WIRES care and so far doing well.  In about 7 months’ time she will be released very close to where she was orphaned, able to return to her beautiful home in the rain forest .

Thank you Jolita, Andi and Bodi for caring and calling WIRES.

Image by Sue Ulyatt




October 2

It is now almost two weeks since this tiny Echidna puggle was orphaned. He/she was just three weeks old when mum was hit by a car. Kara was driving when she came across an Echidna injured on the road; she stopped to help the injured animal.

Knowing that it is Echidna breeding time and it is not possible to tell if an Echidna is male or female, also not always possible to see the “pouch” on an Echidna, Kara searched the surrounding area for a puggle.


Her search was rewarded when she found what looked like a golf ball some distance away; it was a little unspined puggle weighing just 130 gram having rolled out of mums “pouch” on impact.

Mum Echidna unfortunately died a few hours after the accident.





The tiny puggle has been named Kara after her rescuer and so far is doing well in care.

The first milestone for this little one is for its eyes to open, that is still some time ahead.





Should you come across an injured Echidna please stop, check underneath the animal as well as the surrounding area, you may be able to save not one but two native animals in trouble.

Images by Leoni Byron-Jackson




September 27

Two Noisy Miner fledglings were found wet and bedraggled in the gutter early on Friday morning after a severe storm. They were picked up by a passer-by and placed in a box with a soft cloth and dropped off at a local veterinary surgery.

WIRES was called and when picked up by one of our volunteers the fledglings were lovely and warm, no injury was found and it was decided they should be reunited with their parents as soon as possible.


Unfortunately it was too windy, wet and cold for a reunite; they would need to stay in care until the weather cleared. They were fed and kept warm for a couple of days before there was a break in the weather.
When our volunteer arrived at the location of their rescue two adult noisy miners and another fledgling where located straight away.
The fledglings were placed in the lower branches of a tree with some bushy shrubs nearby and they immediately started calling for their parents.  Within a few seconds one adult flew down recognising the sound of her young. It wasn't long before mum and dad went into action and started feeding their little ones.
Another family was safely back together.

Images by Julie Marsh





September 21

A Casino resident arrived home to find a scattering of soot around his cold wood fired stove and desperate scrabbling noises coming from inside the chimney. He called the WIRES 24-hour hotline who sent out a rescuer to help.

They found that an old brick chimney modification with a metal plate had created a space where a bird was trapped. The owner was able to gently remove the metal plate while the rescuer reached in with a towel and caught the bird.

The female Eastern Rosella had been looking for a suitable nest hollow. With no likely trees available, she chose the Casino chimney! She suffered no injuries and was remarkably clean. When released she flew off like a rocket.

The homeowner put wire mesh over the top of the chimney to prevent other birds becoming trapped and he is looking into erecting a parrot nest box.

Many of Australian birds need nest hollows to raise their chicks, including all our parrots, rosellas, kookaburras and most owls. Other wildlife also need hollows. It takes many decades for trees to grow large enough to have suitable nest hollow spaces.

Space is even more critical now that the introduced Indian Mynahs are increasing dramatically in numbers in the Northern Rivers. They also use nest hollows and aggressively drive out our native birds. Not to be confused with the native Noisy Miner that builds a nest and do not use hollows for nesting.

Consider installing or building your own nest boxes to provide additional options for native birds and wildlife.
For advice, contact WIRES on our local 24-hour hotline at 6628 1898.

Image by Melanie Barsony




September 19

Thousands of animals and injured each year in the cruellest of circumstances due to barbed wire. These entanglements often leave members of the public and rescuers distressed due to the severity of the injuries to wildlife.

Nocturnal animals such as bats, gliders and owls are particularly susceptible to this hazard and are often entangled when flying towards flowering or fruiting trees, dams and creeks close to barbed wire. We ask people to modify the fencing adjacent to these ‘hot spots’ by modifying those sections of fence in order to minimise the risk to wildlife. Often this involves relatively short sections of fence, so it’s easy to modify.
Flying foxes are the most common victims of barbed wire. Tawny frogmouths are surprisingly common victims too, and just a few days ago this beautiful Sugar Glider was rescued and taken into care from a barbed wire fence entanglement. She is a mother and we hope her joey that was not found with her, is old enough to take care of itself whilst she is in care.

This Glider was lucky, she was found in the afternoon the following day after being entangled during the night, her injuries were treated, her wounds stitched and she will be released after spending 7-10 days in care. Many do not survive.

We ask landowners to consider whether the barbed wire fence is necessary. Sometimes the fence no longer contains livestock so could be removed or replaced with plain wire. Consider replacing the top strand with plain wire, and when planning a new fence, consider whether barbed wire is really necessary.

If the barbed wire fence is needed, you could cover the top strand in the hot spot zone with polypipe split longitudinally. Northern Rivers WIRES volunteers can assist with this. Just call us on 66281898 for advice.

Image by Jeanette Dundas




September 16

Six little Bush Rats Rattus fuscipes were discovered in a disturbed compost heap in Mullumbimby.
Their eyes had not yet opened and their fur was sparse.

The Bush Rat, is a small compact mammal weighing on average 150-160 gram. Its body length is approximately 160mm, its tail is approximately 150mm. It has soft brown or grey fur, underbelly is much lighter, as is the feet, its ears are large and rounded. Teeth are the same as feral rats. The tail length is shorter than the head and body length, which is useful for identification as most feral rats have longer tails than head and body length.

Bush rats are omnivores and eat a variety of food which includes insects and vegetation such as leaves, fruit, seeds and fungi. It can survive periods of food shortage after a bushfire by feeding on the rapidly emerging fungi.

It is seldom seen in the wild, unless trapped, due to its preference for dense ground cover in Eucalypt and rain forests, sub alpine woodland and coastal scrub. Preference is given to areas where low growing ferns, shrubs and fallen trees can provide shelter. Compost heaps provides great shelter for this species; compost heaps are also favourite places for a variety of other animals such as goannas looking for food.
It is now 6 days since these little Bush Rats were orphaned, their eyes have opened, and the 5 females and 1 male are all doing well in care.

Image by Merryn West-Bird




Spetember 9

Three magpie chicks were found under a tree after high wind had destroyed the nest. The parent birds watched as Geoff the property owner gently picked up the chicks and called WIRES.

A substitute nest was constructed by our WIRES volunteer and within hours the new nest with the three chicks safely within was placed as high as possible in the tree.


As soon as our volunteer backed away from the tree the parents having watched everything intently, flew to the new nest with food in their beaks, the family was once again complete.

Images by Jane Donovan




September 7

Spring is here and all our feathered friends are building nests, some have chicks and fledgling birds already.

This fledgling White-headed pigeon was found on the ground a few days ago, both parents were watching distressed trying to encourage it to fly. WIRES was called and the young bird was taken into care.

Only a couple of days later it started to fly. It was taken back to where it was found, and put up on a branch. Within minutes both parents arrived, clearly relieved to have their offspring back safely. The family flew together high up in the tree.

This time of the year can be dangerous for young birds learning to fly, some may be just a few days behind others in the nest. If you find a young bird on the ground please call us on 66281898 for advice.

Fledgling White-headed pigeon waiting for mum and dad to arrive

Image by Jane Donovan





7 September

Today is Threatened Species Day 2015
Threatened Species Day is a national day held each year on 7 September to commemorate the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger (also known as  the thylacine) at Hobart Zoo in 1936. It is a time to reflect on what happened in the past and how we can protect our threatened species in the future. A day to celebrate our success stories and ongoing threatened species recovery work.
 Threatened species are an important component of biodiversity. Once they  become extinct they are gone forever.
 Today most species become threatened because of habitat destruction and the invasion of non-native species. With effective management, however, almost all threatened species can be conserved for future generations.
 There are many officially listed threatened species of wildlife in the Northern Rivers. WIRES Northern Rivers thanks members of the public for their wildlife awareness and support. Together we are raising awareness about wildlife; rescuing and caring for threatened species.
 Grey-headed flying-foxes, Red-legged pademelons, Wompoo fruit doves and Black- striped wallabies  (pictured) are just some of many Threatened Species in the Northern Rivers.


Images by Lib Ruytenberg & Sue Ulyatt




September 6

An old tree was felled and these two little Rainbow Lorikeet chicks lost their home, a hollow within the tree.
They are seen here as they grow in WIRES care.
They will be released back to the wild once they have some more feathers and learn to fly.

Images by Melanie Barsony




September 3

If you have a fireplace and the weather is cold, firewood is what is needed. Firewood is usually taken from an old dead tree, it is dry,and the bark is loose and looks great for use in the fireplace.
Please spare a thought for native animals that just as us looks at that old dead tree as something great for keeping dry and warm.

Native animals such as Feather-Tailed gliders often choose trees that either have a nice hollow or timber that has loose bark to make their home, not just each individual but for the whole family.

These two little juvenile Feather-tailed gliders weighing just 4.5 and 4.6 gram were found yesterday when they were discovered in a small hollow within an old dead tree being chopped down for firewood.

WIRES also receive calls for these small gliders when they are found inside the house after firewood has been collected. These gliders would have been under the loose bark.

Please make sure you check under the bark before throwing that piece of wood in the fire, animals such as frogs, gliders and small lizards may be calling it home.

Image by Lib Ruytenberg




September 3

Being involved in native animal rescue and care presents a new adventure almost daily.
A call came through to our hotline yesterday that a goanna was trapped in a range hood in the kitchen.
Caller had started cooking when a noise was heard above much too loud to ignore.
Investigation found a Lace monitor stuck in the range hood.

WIRES was called and a tight hole was found above the range hood, which is obviously how the animal had entered.

Our highly trained reptile rescuer managed to get the trapped Lace monitor out of the tight hole and the animal was taken into care for observation.


 It is expected to be released tomorrow with no damage done thanks to our caller acting straight away when hearing the noise. We hope this particular Lace Monitor will choose carefully before entering unfamiliar spaces and choose more suitable living arrangements in the future.

Images by Jacob Armstrong





September 2

WIRES Northern Rivers received a call about microbats in the wall cavity of a dwelling.

The owner was able to follow specific advice to exclude the microbats from the premises.


WIRES was able to provide a microbat box to relocate the small colony of East Coast Freetail bats within a few metres of the dwelling. These microbats are smaller than a mouse, about 7 grams.






There are dozens of species of microbats in the Northern Rivers, ranging
from 3-30gr depending upon species.


Microbats generally live in colonies of half a dozen and mostly they are appreciated for their ecological role as insect controllers as they consume 50% of their bodyweight in insects every night. They'll clean up your mozzies and be no trouble.

For any native animal including bat inquires, call WIRES Northern Rivers 24 hour hotline 66281898.

Images by Lib Ruytenberg



August 29

Wildlife carers are confronted with all kind of different scenarios. Some can tear at your heart; others make up for all the hard ones.

One of our carers recently had a Tawny frogmouth in care and when it was ready for release she placed it in a release cage as the light started to fade. She took it outside and went back inside having a few minutes to spare before she felt the time was right to open the cage door. Tawny frogmouths are nocturnal and as such are released at dusk or just after dark.

Our carer got quite a fright when she came back out a few minutes later. On top of the cage was a tawny frogmouth posing as a branch. How on earth had it managed to escape?

The mystery was solved as she realised it was not the bird in the cage but a wild one keeping the other company.

The Tawny in the cage flew off happily shortly after with its mate.

These birds form a strong bond with their partner and stay together for life, tawny frogmouth pairs roost closely together on the same branch, often with their bodies touching and the male will groom his partner by gently stroking her plumage with his beak. They share the task of building their nest as well as incubating the eggs and raising their chicks.


Image by Julie Marsh




August 26

Bandicoots dead on the road are unfortunately a common sight in the Northern Rivers. Did you know that Bandicoot females have a pouch and often carry up to 4-5 joeys within that pouch?

These little Bandicoot joeys came into care after a motorist stopped to check a dead bandicoot found on the road. It was a female and she had three live joeys in her pouch.

Unfortunately one of the joeys died shortly after coming into care from injuries sustained in the accident, but his two sisters were uninjured and thrived in care. They were released back to the wild after 8 weeks in care.


Please stop, check and call us on 66281898 should you find a marsupial injured or dead, if a female it is highly likely at least one live joey may be in the pouch. Our emergency hotline is answered 24 hours

Pictures by Julie Reid




August 25

This little Rufous Bettong joey was found in the mouth of a domestic dog, the dog had found the joey alone in a fenced of veggie patch. Luckily the joey was not injured, it was however extremely stressed.

WIRES was contacted the following day after the member of public realised mum was not coming back,  and the little female was taken into care. She was treated for stress and is now on the road to recovery.



Due to European settlement, clearing of agricultural land and introduction of foxes, rabbits, hares, cats and dogs the Potoroids have not done well. They have much reduced ranges and two of the 10 species are now extinct. The Rufous Bettong is unfortunately on the threatened species list.


This little lady has already been transferred to a WIRES facility where the species is found in order to grow up in the correct environment until she is ready for release.



Care facilities for this species are highly specialised, they must be able to come and go from their release site as they need to build their nest near others of the species, before they are ready to leave permanently.

Pictures by Ruth Powell




August 23

Meet Wazza and Zang, both are in a large soft release enclosure and the gate is about to be opened to freedom back to the wild.

Wazza has been in care since November last year when his mum was killed on the road. He was just 260 grams, a tiny unfurred joey that had only just opened his eyes for the first time.

Zang was a bit bigger when her mum met the same fate, but life turned out ok when she met Wazza that at that stage was the same age as Zang. They have since been inseparable.  

Both joeys have a very exciting time ahead as they venture out into the wild.

Picture by Annie Crowley




August 22

Many thanks to Aaron from Ecoteam Lismore for calling WIRES Northern Rivers.

A fire damaged tree at Baryugil, south of Mallanganee, was in danger of falling onto sewerage works.

It had to be cut down, but thankfully Aaron and his team checked first for any tree hollows. They found a nest hollow containing two very young Rainbow Lorikeets.

The chicks were rescued and delivered to one of our volunteers in Casino. These photos were taken after one week in care and as you can see the young lorikeet chicks are beginning to grow their blue head feathers.

When they are old enough they will be released back into the wild.

Image by Melanie Barsony




August 21

Just after dark on 15 August, Allison and her family from Ocean Shores heard a loud crack as a branch broke from a nearby Hoop pine. They went outside to investigate, in time to see a huge bird crash into their pool fence and then the side of their house.


They were able to grab the bird in a blanket and place it in a large box, before calling WIRES.

She was a magnificent juvenile Sea Eagle, whose family regularly nest in the pine trees.





After spending a few days in care resting and eating mullet, she recovered from a mighty concussion.



She was taken to Casino Vet Clinic for a physical examination and eye check by veterinarian Phil.

She was given the all clear and taken back to Ocean Shores for release.

Her parents were seen that morning and thanks to Allison and family this beautiful raptor was happily reunited with her family on 18 August.


Images by Melanie Barsony




August 20

This little Joey was brought into Lismore Vet Clinic ten days ago by a concerned member of the public, after they saw him being attacked by an eagle.

 He had several lacerations to his neck and head, one which required minor surgery. His eye was also injured during the attack.


Now just ten days later the little fellow is feeling much better and he is seen here just before his transfer to where he eventually will be released back to the wild in about 6 months time.




He has joined other kangaroos in care and they will spend the rest of their time in care together. 


Thank you to Lismore Vet clinic for treating this little fellow ensuring his eventual return to the wild.






Images by Lismore Vet clinic & Renata Phelps




August 17

This morning one of the many calls for wildlife in need of help was for a Magpie lark hanging from a tree, tied by cotton thread wrapped around both feet tightly.

The bird was discovered by pupils at Richmond River High School. The pupils carefully and gently removed it off the tree & had the office call WIRES.

The cotton thread was too intricate to be cut off by the WIRES volunteer on her own, so the unfortunate bird was taken to Lismore Central vet surgery where the cotton was carefully cut of and removed.





No injury was sustained  thanks to the pupils discovering the bird and acting quickly, the Magpie Lark was able to be released straight back to the school where his mate was waiting.

Bird seen leaving in a hurry back to his waiting mate.

Images by Marion Nel





Meet Jo and May,

Jo is a grey headed flying-fox. She was caught on barbed wire in South Ballina. Luckily she was discovered in time by Joanne.






May, a black flying-fox was delivered to a local vet surgery after being found in Lismore.





Both juvenile Flying-foxes came into care last week, both only a few months old were born six months later than the normal birth time for these bats which is quite unusual.
Both are doing well and will be released when they are able to fend for themselves in several months’ time.

Images by Lib Ruytenberg




August 17

You may have noticed large flocks of Black Kites around Casino, particularly around the rubbish tip.

Despite the name Black Kite, the birds are brown in colour with paler colouring on the wings and around the eyes. They are sometimes called Fork-tail Kites due to the almost fishtail shape of their tails - easily seen at times while they are flying.

A few years ago kites appeared in the Casino area in large numbers, perhaps because of the lack of food in inland areas due to drought.

Black Kites are a medium-sized raptor. They are opportunistic feeders who will scavenge food scraps around slaughter houses or tips. They may feed on road kill or catch small mammals such as rats and rabbits. They will also eat reptiles and insects. They are able to catch and eat large grasshoppers in the air!

Kites are gregarious and congregate in large groups. On up-currents of air, they can soar to great heights. They can sometimes be seen riding the warm air currents of a fire, watching for any prey to be flushed out.




August 13

Our emergency hotline received a call that an adult water dragon was stuck in a water pipe in Brunswick Heads.

How extremely lucky for the animal that someone noticed its predicament and called WIRES for help.




The water dragon was rescued by one of our dedicated volunteers and after examination released.



We hope in future it stays well clear of man-made things like water pipes.




You can help animals by putting out fresh water in a sturdy container that can not be turned over, place a rock or similar in the water so smaller animals can climb out safely should they fall in, please remember to change the water daily.

Pictures by Lee Gleeson




A call was received on the WIRES hotline on 11th August to rescue some newly hatched masked lapwing chicks aka plovers. They had hatched on an awning at the entrance to a church. Luckily a WIRES colleague was visiting me at the time; these plover rescues are always easier with two.

The adult plovers protect their young passionately calling loudly and swooping at their prey. They rarely make contact but as a rescuer it can be a daunting experience.
The first challenge would be the height of the awning and would it be a safe location for the use of a ladder.

On arrival it was too late; the 4 plover chicks had jumped onto the bitumen driveway. One of the chicks was limping and couldn't keep up with its siblings; it would need to come into care. My colleague distracted the adult birds while I rescued the injured chick and helped the others onto the grassed area near the drive. It was an ideal location with trees and leaf litter for camouflage.


The injured plover chick has no obvious breaks just a little bruised and sore, a few days in care should see it safely reunited with its family.

Images and story by Julie Marsh




August 11

Meet Winston, he is a Mountain Brushtail possum currently in care.


Mountain Brushtail possums spend quite a lot of time on the ground after dark when they forage for food such as insects and fallen native berries and fruit.  

That is how Winston’s mum lost her life three days ago when she was hit by a car at Mullumbimby.

Winston is about three and a half months old; he was safely tucked into mums pouch and escaped injury.





He is seen here relaxing after a good feed of special possum formula which he has every four hours around the clock.
He will be in care for approximately a year before he is old enough to be returned to the wild.
Please stop and check the pouch should you come across a dead marsupial, a joey just like Winston may be very much alive.

Our emergency hotline 66281898 is operational 24 hours.

Image by Joanne Chaffey




August 3

Shiny clean windows are great for us to look through, but for our feathered friends they can be hard to see, especially in certain light, they will mirror the outer image, which to a bird in flight looks to be safe passage.

This Fan-tailed cuckoo was found concussed by Alan and his family in Ewingsdale, most likely the victim of a clean window. Alan called WIRES and the bird was taken into care.

The beautiful bird has recovered from a concussion and a big headache, has had a flight test and was successfully released this morning back in its home territory. Seen below as it is about to fly off, recovered and back home.

There are a few ways you can help birds in flight see your windows. One way is to ensure they are not too clean, which for some of us is a great excuse :o)
Putting something reflective, decals or blinds will help alert the birds to the fact that there is something there; it is not a clear passage.

Should you find a bird under your window, please pick it up gently with a cloth, place it is a box big enough for the bird to stand, put in some air holes, and let the bird rest in a dark, warm and quiet environment such as a quiet room for a few hours.

Take the box outside and once outside open the box, in most cases the bird will fly away having recovered from the concussion. Do not open the box inside as the bird is likely to fly straight out of the box, head first into the nearest window.

If you are unsure of the condition of the bird, please call WIRES on 66281898 for advice.

Image by Barbara Wilkins




August 1

Road kill, as animals found on the road are usually called has no real meaning to most, it is unfortunately something that all Australians see much too often, and as such in many cases drive past.
Fortunately many people stop, either to drag the animal off the road, or to actually take the time to check if it was a male or a female, and if so, check the pouch for a possible live joey within.

Soli was driving in Brunswick Heads last night and came across a dead Swamp wallaby on the road. Soli stopped to check and finding it was a female she checked the pouch but it was empty. Soli called WIRES.

Our emergency phone operators are trained in what to look for and in this case Soli was advised to check the female wallaby’s pouch for an elongated teat.
Yes the wallaby did have a teat much longer than the others which meant that she had a joey still dependent on her.
 It was nowhere to be seen. Joanne a WIRES rescuer was called and went to the accident site with her husband. It was dark, and although a search was done nearby the joey was not found. As Joanne and her husband were talking, a slight noise was heard in the bush nearby. They hushed, all went silent. They started talking again and the noise was again heard.  

Slowly Joanne walked towards the bush speaking quietly and the noise could be heard with each word spoken, she kept following the noise and after a few minutes our rescuer found the tiny joey in the bush hiding. He had been thrown out of the pouch on impact and was now hiding, calling for his mum.

He was quickly scooped up and wrapped within a warm substitute pouch.
On examination he was found to have a leg injury and early this morning he was taken to Billinudgel vet surgery where his leg injury was treated.
He will be in care for approximately 6 months, once he is better and able to use his leg again he will be joining a number of other joeys in care and eventually he will be released back to the wild.

Thank you Soli for taking the time to stop and for calling WIRES for more information. Without you this little fellow would not have survived the night.  


Image by Joanne Chaffey




July 20

Cedar came into care back in April weighing 600 gram; she is a Red-Necked wallaby.
Cedar was as most orphaned wallaby joeys found in her dead mums pouch, unfortunately mum had been dead for some time and the smell of Cedar when she was brought into care was not the best.
She was cleaned up and once again her fur was soft as velvet, she was given some much needed fluid and soon settled into life as an orphan.

By the middle of June she was taken to an outside enclosure with other joeys and all went well for the first few days. Unfortunately Cedar had an accident and was rushed to the vet where her foot was x-rayed. Cedar had broken her foot..

Yesterday Cedar had her final trip to vet to have her broken foot examined and x-rayed again. She got the all-clear and has now got her cast off. She is a very happy wallaby and is gradually learning to hop again without a big fat cast on her leg.

A HUGE thank you to Toni (the vet) and staff at Conway St Vet Clinic who have been checking Cedars foot once a week for the past 5 weeks.

Cedar should be ready for released just before Christmas.

Cedar with her cast finally off.

Image by Renata Phelps




July 19

This tiny Sugar Glider was found in his dead mums pouch at Wilsons Creek Public School four days ago. Mum was very cold and weighing just 13 grams time was running out for Smidge.


Smidge is a Sugar Glider and he is approximately two months old.





Sugar gliders live in dense to medium eucalypt forests, having a home range of about 3 hectares. They can volplane for at least 50 meters through the trees, not a bad effort when we consider the size of this animal.
It sets off with its hind legs leaping from tree to tree, spreading membranes, which extends on each side of the body from the fifth finger to the first toe of the foot. By varying the curvature of the left or right membrane the glider steers and maintains stability. When it is about 3 meters from the target tree it brings its hind legs in towards the body and with an upward swoop lands with four feet on the bark.

They nest in tree hollows and once again we are reminded how important the old trees are for our native animals, as they are used by so many species for nesting and shelter. The nest is called a den and is lined with gum leaves.
Social groups are made up of up to 7 adults and their young sharing a common nest. The male uses his scent glands to mark all members of the group, and intruders are shown no mercy.

Sugar Glider joeys come into care at any given time in Northern Rivers area as these gliders mate all year round. In other parts of Australia where they are found, mating takes place in June so their young is emerging in spring when food is abundant. The female will normally produce 2 young; they remain in the pouch for 70 days and then stay in the common nest for another 30 days.
 At about 3-4 months old they will venture out at night usually on the mothers back, or close behind her.  At the age of 7-10 months they are finally independent.

The Sugar glider eat gum produced by acacias, sap of certain eucalypts, new tips of eucalypt leaves and native flowers such a Grevillia, Bottlebrush and insects.

Smidge has a long road ahead before he will be ready for release, in time he will meet other Sugar Gliders in care and all will be released together as a family group.
For now he is settling into care being fed special glider formula 4 hourly around the clock, snuggling into his warm substitute pouch between feeds.

Thank you Cindy for calling WIRES promptly, delaying that call could have cost Smidge his life.

Image by Barbara Wilkins




July 10

In late June a fledging Barn Owl was rescued after it was found on the ground at Wollongbar, it had been attacked by birds and suffered a nasty wound to its head.

 The following day its slightly older sibling was found in the same spot on the ground suffering from concussion.

After examination and routine tests for internal parasites it was found that both young owls were suffering from an infection which if left untreated, would most certainly have debilitated both birds significantly long term, also most likely the reason both birds had ended up on the ground in the first place.

Treatment for the infection is now almost complete; both owls have recovered from their injuries sustained when they fell from the nest hollow and they are almost ready to be returned to their parents, mum and dad are waiting patiently at home in the hope they may see their offspring again.

Once back with their parents they will resume their normal life, learning everything they need to become independent Barn Owls.

It is a difficult time for young birds when they leave the safety of their nest, or nest hollow as is the case with owls, and have to venture into the big wide world, made even more difficult if they suffer from an infection as was the case with these two beautiful birds.

The two siblings are seen here almost ready to be returned home.

Thank you Maurice for keeping an eye on the hollow and taking action when you realised the fledglings were in trouble.

Image by Melanie Barsony




9 July


This little fellow is named Danny; he is a Swamp wallaby joey and owes his life to Byron Bay Police. His mum was fatally injured in a car accident in Byron Bay 5 days ago. The police officer attending checked the pouch and found little Danny within.

Danny (named after his rescuer) is just 4.5 months old, his weight is a mere 480 gram and he has no fur yet. He will be in care for approximately 9 months. Currently he is keeping snug and warm in a humidicrib and being fed special wallaby formula 4 hourly around the clock.

The Swamp wallaby is found in eastern and southern Australia from Cape York to South western Victoria. They prefer thick undergrowth in the forest where they hide in thick grass and dense bush during the day, and come out at dusk to browse for food. They eat a variety of grasses, shrubs and ferns.
They are dark brown above, light brown to yellow below with a light brown cheek stripe. Extremities are usually darker, but can vary depending on area. Distinguished from other Wallabies by its dark colour, gait is also different, holding the head low, tail straight out behind. The swamp wallaby is in fact quite different from other wallabies, and is classified as the only living member of the genus Wallabia.
The weight for an adult male is 17 kg and 13 kg average for females. This can vary depending on area.
The swamp wallaby has a broad fourth premolar tooth, which is never shed, and is used for eating course plant material. The Swamp Wallaby breeds all year round, and is sexually mature at 15-18 months old.

Danny will join others when he is old enough and will be released in Byron Bay area.

Thank you Byron Bay Police for caring and calling WIRES






Images by Annie Crowley







July 8

On 5 July life changed dramatically for this tiny Mountain Brushtail possum. She had so far spent her entire life in the safety of mum’s warm and snug pouch.
Sometime during the night mum must have ventured onto the road and even though this particular road is in a very quiet country area, mum lost her life when she was hit by a car. Unfortunately the car did not stop and as night turned into day mums pouch got very cold.

As soon as Howard from the local shop saw the body of mum possum, he checked if it was a male or female. Finding it was indeed a female he checked the pouch and gently removed the little joey from the now ice cold pouch. Howard wrapped the joey in a warm blanket, calling WIRES straight away.

Weighing just 133 gram little Tamie was brought into care. She had no visible injuries but her body temperature was critically low and she was immediately put into intensive care.  Tamie slowly responded, and now three days later she is adjusting to her new life as an orphan, even opening her eyes having a look around at feed time.



She is being fed 4 hourly around the clock and she will spend quite some time yet in a humidicrib.

As you can see in the pictures her fur is just below the skin, soon it will come through and she will be able to regulate her own temperature.

 Mountain Brushtail possums live in hollow logs mainly found in old trees, so please think before cutting down that old tree, someone may call it home.
They also spends quite a lot of time on the ground which is why they can be in danger of being hit by cars at night.
Sexual maturity is reached at about 3 years of age and the female gives birth to normally only one young.  The first four months of a Mountain Brushtail life is spent entirely in mum’s pouch, after that time the joey will travel part time on mums back at night when she comes out at dusk in search of food.
Lifespan can be as long as 17 years, possibly longer.
The diet of this species is quite varied. Their natural diet consists of foliage, flowers and insects. They are opportunistic feeders and unfortunately it is not uncommon for them to be found in large industrial garbage bins left open at night. They will venture into the bins looking for food, once in, they are unable to exit. Please check your bins if they have been left open overnight.

The search for food is also what makes them venture onto roads, in this little orphans case it is what cost her mums life.

Little Tamie will spend many months in care, she will join other orphans in care and eventually they will all be released back to the wild where they belong.

Images by Jodie Hutchins




July 6

Learning to fly can be dangerous when things like roads with cars are near your nest.
This fledgling Spotted Pardalote had a lucky escape from certain death today when it was found by a passer-by on a lonely dirt road. The little bird was lying on the road unable to fly.

It was taken into care by WIRES and fortunately is just in need of some TLC overnight.

Tomorrow it will be reunited with its family.

Thank you Nadine for being vigilant and calling WIRES

Image by Nadine




June 29

The weather is nice and cool, time to give the garden a clean-up and do some trimming of branches.
A pair of Crested Pigeons had built their nest in what they thought was a safe and well hidden spot.
All went to plan, egg hatched and they were busy collecting food for their chick when their nest fell to the ground. Branches were being trimmed and the nest was so well hidden no one had noticed the nest or the precious little chick within.

The chick was gently picked up and kept warm whilst WIRES was called.

The WIRES volunteer arrived and quickly assessed the situation, she noticed mum pigeon sitting close by, watching intently. The tree still had good branches and foliage so the WIRES volunteer quickly wired a new nest into the tree and placed the chick within. Mum was still watching and as soon as all stepped a safe distance away mum returned to the nest.  


Should you accidently dislodge a nest with chicks, please call WIRES straight away. In most cases we can reunite the chicks with their parents. Even if the nest is destroyed we have a number of constructed nests that can be used as replacements. The parent birds are ultimately the best parents for their chicks.
This little Crested Pigeon chick is safely back with its parents as nature intended.

Image by Marion Nel




June 27

The call came through WIRES Northern Rivers hotline that a Wedge-tailed eagle was in trouble at Koreelaha on the 19th June.
A Juvenile Wedge-tailed eagle had gotten itself trapped in a chicken coop and had been attacked by the rooster and hens. The owner of the property managed to contain the bird in a smaller aviary for a few hours until a WIRES carer could reach them.

The eagle was not only exhausted but also injured, along with its pride no doubt. A WIRES volunteer collected the eagle and drove it all the way to Casino where it was examined and rehydrated. On examination it was found that the rooster had managed to inflict a puncture wound close to the eagle’s spinal column which affected the use of his left leg.

The following morning it was taken to Casino Vet Clinic for treatment.
With pain medication and antibiotics he has started using his leg and his carer reports his attitude is returning, which means he is getting better.

It is expected this young male Wedge-tailed eagle will make a full recovery and will be released when he has fully recovered.

Image by Kim McCully




June 25

Possums need space and climbing ability in order to build muscle and strength before release, especially when they have been in care since tiny little joeys.

One of these Mountain Brushtail possums came into care back in December weighing less than 200 gram. She has some great mates, another two female Mountain Brushtails also in care, one since February and the other more recently. Unfortunately the last possum to come into care was called into WIRES when she climbed up onto the lap of a National Parks officer in a local nature reserve. It was obvious the possum had been hand reared and released, unfortunately she was much too human friendly and lacking the necessary survival skills to make it in the wild. She was undernourished probably due to not knowing what to eat or how to find food by herself.

She was taken into care and introduced to the other two possums seen here, they have been great mates since.

The three little ladies were transferred to their final destination before release recently and these pictures were taken shortly after they were put into their new aviary in the bush. They are clearly excited, out exploring and trying all the new branches and ropes.

They will spend time sleeping during the day and come out to play and browse as dusk falls. The night will be spent learning the sounds of the bush, browsing on foliage they will have no trouble recognising once released in a few months’ time.


Please call WIRES should you come across a native animal in distress. Even though it is tempting to keep and raise an animal such as this, it is not in the best interest of the animal. This little possum is lucky, she was found in time, many are not so fortunate.


Images by Jodie Hutchins




June 13

Native wildlife unfortunately do not fare well when they encounter domestic pets such as cats.
This Sugar Glider was found hanging upside down under a house, close by was regurgitated cat kibble and a dead mouse.

WIRES was called as soon as the person found the glider. The caller thought the glider may be suffering from a concussion..

It was soon discovered that concussion was not the issue as the little glider had multiple puncture wounds around his neck and his back legs were paralysed.

Once in WIRES care he was placed in intensive care and given pain relief and much needed rehydration fluid. His wounds were cleaned and antibiotics were prescribed by the vet, it was now a waiting game to see if he could recover from his ordeal.

Unfortunately most gliders that come into WIRES care do so due to having been caught by domestic cats. Domesticated cats are opportunistic hunters and will hunt day and night, they're just doing what their instincts tell them.

Across Australia we are losing millions of native animals each day as a direct result of feral and domesticated cats. Cats are able to kill multiple animals in one night; the current consensus is that feral cats alone kill tens of millions of native animals every night - See more at:http://www.australianwildlife.org/f…/feral-cat-research.aspx

Currently there is no suitable way to control the impacts of feral cats, but the impacts of domesticated cats can easily be halted by simply confining you cats 24 hours a day. Put multiple bells on your cat’s collar in order for native animals such as this glider to hear the cat approach. Steralizing your cat makes them less likely to roam and hunt and it will ultimately save you money for vet bills as the cat is less likely to fight with other cats and get injured.

If you find an injured animal, call WIRES 66281898 immediately and make sure to mention that the animal might have been in contact with a cat, as their chance of survival is much better if the correct antibiotic is

Image by Renata Phelps




June 11

When Warren came across a dead wallaby on the road he stopped straight away and checked if it was a male or a female. It turned out to be a female and when he checked her pouch,  two beautiful frightened and confused brown eyes looked back at him.

Warren called WIRES and little Warren is now in care.

He is in a humidicrib as he is still too young to stay warm until his fur starts to grow. When that time comes he will be in good company, little Bonnie is slightly older and ready for some good company.




Bonnie was found in similar circumstances, her mum was killed during the night; the driver did not bother to stop.




Local council workers came across mum the following morning and Bonnie was gently removed from the cold pouch, wrapped in a warm jumper and held close till a WIRES volunteer arrived.

Warren and Bonnie will grow up together; in about 12 months’ time they will be released back to the wild.
We are experiencing a large number of wallaby joeys coming into care currently; please take care on our roads.

Images by Jeanette Dundas




June 10

This little fellow is a Sugar glider; he was taken into care after being discovered in the pocket of a person that most likely thought he was doing the right thing by saving him.

When Smudge, as he was named, was taken into care by WIRES he was a mere 32 gram, bedraggled, malnourished and in a very sad state.

Seen on the left after 3 weeks in care with WIRES

Sugar gliders are social creatures; they live in groups made up of up to 7 adults and their young sharing a common nest. The male uses his scent glands to mark all members of the group.

The female will normally produce 2 young; they remain in the pouch for 70 days and then stay in the common nest for another 30 days. At about 3-4 months old they will venture out at night usually on the mothers back, or close behind her. At the age of 7-10 months old they are independent.

Sugar gliders live in dense to medium eucalypt forests, having a home range of about 3 hectares. They can volplane for at least 50 meters through the trees, not a bad effort when we consider the size of this animal, adult male weight is on average 160 gram and female 120 gram.
Marsupials are born undeveloped and must have the correct nutrient in order to develop. Smudge was struggling and needed intensive care. After three weeks of proper nutrition and housing, things started to look better for Smudge, he was ravenous and putting on good weight.

Smudge was released back to the wild after 2.5 months in care joining an already established group of Sugar gliders.
Should you ever find a little glider such as Smudge, please call WIRES straight away. As tempting as it can be to hang onto these animals they must be handled correctly, given the proper nutrition in order to survive long term.

Smudge after 5 weeks in care

Images by Barbara Wilkins




June 8

When a Naughton's Gap family saw an echidna on the road one evening they straddled it with their wheels to avoid hitting it and pulled over to check. Luckily  the car behind did the same, as the echidna was still alive but with some blood coming from its nose.


This caring family were concerned and carefully took it home and after calling WIRES placed it in a large plastic tub.

Echidnas are great Houdinis, and the echidna escaped from its large plastic tub, spending the night exploring their garage.




When WIRES volunteers arrived the following morning the echidna had climbed up on their ATV and was perched on the front ready for a ride!


Echidnas are incredibly strong and can move their spines independently in order to grip and hold onto surfaces.




It took three people almost half an hour to dislodge this spikey guy, who was then taken into care by WIRES.


Fortunately the damage to its beak was minimal and the adventurous echidna was taken back to its home territory after a few days R&R.




June 3

Pademelons are fast and disappear at the slightest disturbance. Zom and her partner at Goonengerry regularly observe Pademelons on their property. They became concerned when a small Pademelon was seen over a period of days with others but at no time with his head tucked into mums pouch for a drink as one this size should have been.  It became obvious, he was an orphan.

Zom sent this picture to WIRES asking was the little one ok.
Pademelons can as all other macropods develop Myopathy when subjected to extreme stress, trying to catch a wallaby can easily create this situation, in some cases it is better to watch and observe.

Zom did just that and after some days getting closer each day she was able to pick up the little one without distress and it was taken into care by WIRES.

He is a little Red-Necked Pademelon about 7 months old, even though he would be what is called an "at foot" joey he would still be very much dependent on mums milk for quite some time yet. He had become debilitated in the time he had spent without mum and required rehydration and intensive care.
It is now 10 days since he was brought into care and he has settled well with other Pademelons already in care. He is seen below with one of his favourite buddies orphaned after her mum was killed by a car.
WIRES would like to thank Zom for taking time to observe native wildlife on her property and know when something is not quite right. Without Zom’s observation skills and her call to WIRES for information, this little Pademelon would not be alive today.

Zom's little joey is the larger one in these pictures.

Images by Jane Graham




June 1

Last Friday a little surprise awaited the teacher and pupils at Whian Whian primary school.
A Feather-Tail glider must somehow have followed an insect into the school possibly through a gap under a door. Once inside we guess the tiny creature could not locate a way out again and looked around for somewhere to spend the daylight hours.
It was soon discovered once the pupils arrived at school and WIRES was called.
The glider was examined and rehydrated, nothing was found wrong, in fact it was a very healthy adult so that same evening after dark it was taken back to the school grounds. As the carer walked from tree to tree within the yard, the glider sniffed and looked around but did not make an attempt to flee until the tree its colony obviously called home was located. The glider leaped from the rescue basket onto the tree and disappeared from sight into the night and safety of the foliage of the tree.

The Feather-Tail glider having a much needed drink of rehydration fluid from its WIRES carer after the scary ordeal of being discovered.

Feather-Tail gliders live in communal groups and build their nests in anything from abandoned bird’s nests to banana bags and line the nest with leaves, feathers and shredded bark. The nest is 6-8cm spherical and closed. The feet resemble that of a frog except with fur,  the large pads on the toes which have serrated groves underneath allow them to climb just about anything. In fact many sweat glands creating moisture on the foot pads allow this tiny Glider the surface tension like mini suction cups to climb even vertical panes of glass.
This tiny Glider is the smallest of all gliders with a head and body length of just 6.5 - 8cm. They get their name from their remarkable tail which is flat with stiff fringed hair growing horizontally either side all the way to the tip. The tail is used to steer and brake as they glide up to 20 meters through the trees. They are the only known mammal to have a feather like tail. Tail length is 7-8cm and shaped just like the feather on a bird. The weight of an adult is 10-15 gram, so this tiny Glider is often missed when in trouble, or mistaken for a mouse when the cat brings it is which is often how WIRES become involved.  They are found throughout Eastern Australia from South Aust. through to far north Queensland.

WIRES would like to thank the pupils and teacher at Whian Whian public school for their vigilance ensuring this little glider was able to be returned to its family and natural environment as soon as possible.

Image by Martin Fitzgerald




May 28

Echidna season is well and truly with us, in the last few weeks dozens of calls have come in from concerned members of the public asking for advice regarding Echidnas in their gardens and on roads.

As the weather is getting cooler these animals become more active, they travel further afield looking for a mate. You might see as many as 10 walking in a line: this is called an echidna train. The female is in the lead with males behind in order of size! She may lead them around for 6 weeks before choosing a mate.
Unfortunately, this makes them more vulnerable on the roads. Please be alert when you drive to avoid colliding with an echidna and keep an eye out for injured animals that may be lying by the side of the road. If you need to move the animal, cover and gently wrap with a thick towel to carry to the roadside. Please stay with the animal and call WIRES right away.

Many calls to our hotline currently are regarding Echidnas that have" dug" themselves in and do not seem to want to move on. The animal is defending itself the only way it can by digging into the ground, and this happen when it feels insecure and in danger. It may also roll itself into a ball if not able to dig in. Best solution for all is leave the Echidna alone, remove the threat (usually the family dog) and the Echidna will go on its way once it feels secure. Echidnas have a great memory, and it is unlikely that it will return after an ordeal such as this.

Echidnas have a great memory and it is unlikely that it will return after an ordeal such as this.

Did you know that Echidnas are great swimmers, they can also climb fences as well as dig under.

Image by Sharon McGrigor




May 26

The last few days has seen quite a few Macropod joeys coming into care in our area.

Macropods ( kangaroos and wallabies ) breed all year round, there is no particular breeding season, so any female kangaroo or wallaby killed is likely to have a joey in the pouch.

As winter approaches and the days get shorter many of us travel home from work in the fading light which is when these animals are active.

Please slow down on our roads in wildlife areas. This little Red-Necked joey is lucky to be alive, his mum was killed as so many others when she tried to cross from one side of a road to the other. Unfortunately our wildlife does not understand road rules.

Image by Marion Nel





May 27

The Topknot Pigeon is a large bird now seen in large flocks in our region. This bird is much bigger than the Crested Pigeon which is often mistaken for. 

The Topknot pigeon has an unmistakable crest on its head which resembles a large lock of dusty red hair that it uses in its mating displays. The male and female are very similar in description and are approximately 41cm long. 




This magnificent pigeon spends its days high in the top of the rainforest canopy eating small native fruits, berries and seeds such as Native figs, Lillypillies, Bangalow Palms, Blueberry ash and the list go on. These nomadic flock pigeons roam our sub-tropical land in search of food.

Studies on the purpose of flock pigeons as seed depositors, with regards to revegetating; showed that on abandoned agricultural land where such things as camphor still existed, there was the opportunity for the pigeons to feed and then spread the seeds from other rainforest areas. These studies also indicated that the native plant species have as a result, started to outweigh the exotic species when nomadic flock pigeons visited the regeneration site.  This natural method of seed dispersal between rainforest remnants encourages new growth and diversity all the way up and down the coast.

All of our pigeon species rely on a constant supply of native fruits, berries and seed to survive.  If you are planning to do some planting keep the pigeons in mind, and plant some native plants such as mentioned above.





May 21

Today was a big day for Charnushka, her mum was killed in a car accident back in March and although Charnuska was safely tucked into mums pouch she had not escape injury.
When WIRES was called after the driver stopped and checked for a joey it soon became apparent that Charnuska had some nasty injuries.  The skin on her arm had been severely damaged, her backside also had skin damage. She was rushed to the vet  and x-ray showed her wrist was also broken.
Today almost 2 months later her injuries are all but a distant memory, she is a healthy little Red-Necked wallaby joey ready to take on the world and moving to a large enclosure where she can hop at full speed, snuggle down into her warm pouch when she gets tired and enjoy the company of the other joeys in care was very exciting for her.  
She has many months in care yet, she will slowly distance herself from her human carers and eventually she will leave the enclosure and claim her place in the wild.

Image by Renata Phelps




April 30

The current weather situation will cause problems for our Native animals. Strong wind and heavy rain over the next few days will put our wildlife under extreme stress.

You can help:
After the storm has passed and it is safe to do so please check under trees for fallen chicks, nests or injured birds.
Some birds will be waterlogged and on the ground unable to fly. Please pick them up by gently wrapping them in a small towel or soft cloth with no loose threads (they can easily become entangled) take them inside and place in a box with air holes, box should be large enough for the bird to stand, place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box and let the bird warm up and dry out in peace and quiet.
Please do not feed the bird, if you feel it needs food please call for advice first.
Once the weather has settled the bird should be taken back outside, open the box and the bird should fly away. If this does not happen please call our hotline for advice.

Our mammals will also be in trouble. Please be vigilant on our roads, our wildlife will be under extreme stress.
Small possums and gliders could also be under trees after a severe storm. After the storm has passed and it is safe to do so please check any fallen trees specially older trees with hollows as almost certainly someone would have called that hollow home.

Should you find any injured wildlife please call our 24 hour emergency hotline for help or advice.
Remember do not drive if roads are flooded, please take care and stay safe.

Image by Sharon McGrigor




April 26

A Casino man was driving home one night on the Ballina Road in Lismore when a juvenile Tawny Frogmouth suddenly flew low in front of his car. Sadly, there was nothing he could do to avoid a collision. There was quite a thump and he felt awful but thought that was the end of the tawny.

He drove home and parked his car in the garage. Four days later, while he was washing the car he heard some noises coming from under the front end. Close inspection revealed the tawny trapped up behind the plastic faring. He removed as much of the faring as possible and called WIRES.

Miraculously the young bird was not badly injured, suffering from bruising, dehydration and weight loss she has recovered well in care and will soon be released.

Fully recovered and almost ready for release.

Image by Melanie Barsony




March 31

Last weekend WIRES Northern Rivers hosted a Bat Party at Clunes to celebrate the rescue and release back to the wild of 402 flying-fox pups from the heat stress event in Casino in November last year.

Several thousand adult bats and pups succumbed to the heat, leaving hundreds of orphans which were rescued by wildlife carers. The baby bats were transported to wildlife carer groups across NSW, Qld, ACT and SA. They were raised by dedicated carers over the summer months and have been returned to the North Coast and Queensland for release.

Party decorations featured 402 hanging silhouette flying foxes, representing the babies that survived through to release. The Bat Party at Clunes was attended by almost one hundred people, including wildlife volunteers from NSW and Qld. It was a tribute to the wonderful co-operation between wildlife groups and a celebration of the release of over 400 orphaned baby bats.


Some of the wonderful bat carers from Queensland and NSW wildlife care groups

Image by Dee Hartin




March 27

Update on Casino Heat Stress Event.
In November last year when temperatures reached over 40 degrees several days in a row, the flying-foxes in Casino succumbed to the heat. Local wildlife carers from WIRES and NRWC responded to this emergency. There was a death toll of over 5000 adult flying-foxes, however over 400 orphaned flying-foxes were rescued.
These pups ranged in age from newborn to five weeks and needed bottle-feeding five times daily.
An emergency response centre was established with vaccinated carers and non-vaccinated support volunteers working around the clock to stabilise and feed the little orphans.
Wildlife carers from many groups within NSW, Qld, ACT and even South Australia quickly offered assistance.
Groups of young flying-foxes were despatched to carer groups many hundreds of kilometres away.
It’s a great credit to the many wildlife groups which responded so quickly and effectively. The groups who offered to take Casino orphans already had their own rescued pups in care and took extras knowing there were several months of intensive dedication required to raise them to independence.
Although wildlife carers have had to deal with heat stress events in the past, there had never been one in November when there were so many dependent young.
Amazingly, almost all the rescued pups which went to the many carers all over the country survived.
Most of the rescued pups were black flying-foxes; fewer than 8% were grey-headed flying-foxes.
The black flying-foxes had to be released back on the North Coast or in Queensland. So once they were raised and ready for release, they had to make the trip back North. This was another logistical challenge for the various carers.
During the past few months, the 400 rescued young have been transported to specialist release facilities where they have been set free and are still being support fed by teams of volunteers.
WIRES Northern Rivers thanks the many other wildlife groups, DART, our local veterinary clinics and other WIRES branches for their generous support with this unprecedented and challenging wildlife emergency.

Images below by Lib Ruytenberg and Lisa Baxter





This lucky White-headed pigeon has made a full recovery after crashing into a window. He hit so hard he could not fly. Fortunately, the Casino Vet Clinic found no fractures, just significant bruising. After two weeks of rest and food, he was released yesterday.


Birds may mistake the reflection of a window as the continuation of the sky and trees and collide with the glass.

Often, they suffer only a slight concussion. If allowed to rest for an hour or so, they may recover and can be released. However, sometimes the collision is much harder and birds can suffer from head injuries or fractured shoulders or collarbones.

If a bird collides with your window, gently place it on a towel in the bottom of a cardboard box with a lid. Do not give any food or drink. Close the box and put it in a quiet, dark and safe place for 1 - 2 hours. Carefully carry the box outside before opening to check on the bird's condition. Hopefully, it will escape immediately. If not, call WIRES for help and further care.

Some birds die immediately after the collision or shortly afterwards. Sadly, there is nothing you or WIRES could have done for them.

To help make glass more visible, stick on decals, use fly screens or hang a pot plant outside.




March 11

Two weeks ago this little joey was orphaned when his mum was killed by a car.

He is a Red-Necked wallaby just 4.5 months old. He will join a number of other wallaby joeys at the same stage of development as soon as he starts to take an interest in his surroundings.





It is so important for these young animals to have the ability to interact and learn from their own kind, giving them the best chance once they are old enough to be released back to the wild.

These orphans grow up in each other’s company; as soon as they are able they are placed in secure outside enclosures. They start by spending most of the time in their individual pouches placed close to each other; they are fed at 4 hourly intervals with special wallaby formula and introduced to their native diet.
As they grow and develop they spend less time in the pouch, but should they be frightened by an unfamiliar sound they soon jump right back into their specific pouch for security.
The final stage is release of the little group of orphans.

Once they are weaned and eating native foods gathered and placed within the enclosure each day by the carer it is time for release. Release is done by opening the gates of the enclosure and letting the animals take their time. They are welcome to come back should they feel the need, in fact many do come back for extended time, but eventually all integrate with the wild population.
Time for release is 10 months away for this little orphan.

Please slow down when driving in wildlife areas, especially early morning, late afternoon and at night when our native wildlife are most active.
Should you accidentally hit a native marsupial or see one injured or dead on the road please stop, check the pouch if a female and call WIRES straight away. Our emergency hotline is answered 24 hours by our dedicated volunteers.




4 March

This adorable creature is called a Rufus Bettong, they are rarely seen as they are now only found in a few locations and a threatened species.
A horse rider came across this little joey obviously orphaned and called WIRES straight away. The joey weighing just 225 gram is now in care. It has no obvious injuries and is expected to be released back to the wild when it is old enough to fend for itself.

The Rufus Bettong sleeps during the day in conical grass nests built on a shallow depression at the base of a tussock or a fallen log. They feed on grasses, herbs, tubers, roots, fungi & some insects. They have a prehensile tail which they use to carry grasses gathered for nesting. Adult weight is 1- 3.5kg





February 25

The best part of being a WIRES member is releasing an animal back to wild.

Late January a very smelly and sad looking kookaburra was called into our hotline in need of help. This juvenile kookaburra had damaged flight and tail feathers.
Some investigation revealed the juvenile bird had in fact been kept in an unsuitable cage for some time.


After a good clean 'Doris Pecker' as she was named by her carer soon looked like a new bird, and as she was in danger of becoming humanized due to already having been kept in an unsuitable cage she was transferred to an aviary.

Living in the aviary kept Doris wild, she would watch the shadows move as though it was prey ready to be swooped upon. She had that natural instinct to hunt.

  Doris spent 4 weeks in the aviary as her tail and flight feathers grew, in that time she became completely independent and even developed an attitude.



That meant one thing, time for release.

She has since been monitored and is mixing with the locals, she is doing well and she is once again wild.

Should you find an injured or orphaned native animal please call WIRES for help. It can be tempting to keep a young bird such as this wanting to help, however it could be detrimental to the animal’s survival if not properly trained.

Also it is illegal in NSW to keep wildlife unless you are part of a registered wildlife organisation. If you wish to help care for wildlife please contact your nearest wildlife care organisation and join, learn what to do and how to raise a native animal  without causing it further damage.





February 19

The current weather situation will cause problems for our Native animals. Strong wind and heavy rain will put our wildlife under extreme stress.

 You can help:  
After the storm has passed and it is safe to do so please check under trees for fallen chicks, nests or injured birds.

Some birds will be waterlogged and on the ground unable to fly. Please pick them up by gently wrapping them in a small towel or soft cloth with no loose threads (they can easily become entangled) take them inside and place in a box with air holes, box should be large enough for the bird to stand, place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box and let the bird warm up and dry out in peace and quiet.
Please do not feed the bird, if you feel it needs food please call for advice first.

Once the weather has settled the bird should be taken back outside, open the box and the bird should fly away. If this does not happen please call our hotline for advice.

Our mammals will also be in trouble. Please be vigilant on our roads, our wildlife will be under extreme stress.

Small possums and gliders could also be under trees after a severe storm. After the storm has passed and it is safe to do so please check any fallen trees specially older trees with hollows as almost certainly someone would have called that hollow home.

Should you find any injured wildlife please call our 24 hour emergency hotline for help or advice.
Take care and stay safe.




February 15

Friday 13th turned out to be a disastrous day for this little Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike fledgling.
He was found at 8.30 in the morning on the road, his feathers not yet long enough to fly. As there were lots of trees around it was suggested he be put back up into the tree nearby as his parents were most likely close by.

Fledgling birds are often found on the ground almost ready to fly, they are enthusiastic and take that step too far or simply fall out of the nest. In many cases these birds can be put back up in the tree, you stand back and wait……. a parent will usually show up within a short time to feed the little one and watch over it.

WIRES Northern Rivers has so far this season reunited 270 chicks with their parents. A much better option for the bird than taking them into care.

This little one was put back up in a tree nearby where he waited for hours for mum or dad to return.
He tried calling but no one showed up. His rescuer Graham called WIRES again after some hours and it was decided the fledgling would need to come into care.


He was hungry, he was tired and he was very distressed by the ordeal of having lost his family.
A quick search of our data base and sure enough there were more Black Faced Cuckoo Shrikes in care same stage of development.



The next morning this little one was transferred to the carer with the others. As you can see from the picture we have a happy little clutch of orphans, they will be released together in the very near future where they will be support fed as they start their journey back to the wild.

Please call WIRES for advice should you find a little orphan, we will do our best to reunite it with its family, in most cases we will try to talk you through how to do this safely. It is such a rewarding feeling seeing a little orphan reunited. However should this prove unsuccessful call us straight back and we will take the bird into care.
All animals do best with their own kind; if at all possible we will ensure the orphan is with others of its own kind whilst in care. This ensures the best possible outcome for a safe return to the wild with no imprinting whilst in care.





February 11

Yet another little joey orphaned due to mum being killed by a car.
He has been named Buttons and he is a Red-Necked wallaby. He was found by National Parks rangers near Kyogle, the car involved had not stopped when mum was hit some time during the night.

Lucky for Buttons NPWS rangers were out early in the morning when they stopped to check the pouch of his dead mum.

Buttons is doing well, he has now been in care for 10 days and he is already interested in his surroundings, he is gaining weight and able to keep his temperature without thermal support as long as he can snuggle deep into his substitute pouch.
Wherever it is safe to do so, please stop if you see an animal on the road, even though it may be already dead, a little one just like this may be uninjured in the pouch.




5 February

Mum was killed by a car some time during the night, the car did not stop.
Early this morning a passing motorist noticed the little not yet furred joey trying to get out of the pouch.

Joey was given a helping hand, wrapped snugly and WIRES was contacted straight away.

The joey is a Pademelon weighing just 220 gram. His will to live is evident, even with a head injury he is still interested in his surroundings, although his life has changed in the short term, we feel certain he will be ready to return home to the bush in about 7 months.

Please stop if you see an animal on the road, even though it may be already dead, a little one just like this may be uninjured in the pouch.


February 20

Timmy as this little Pademelon has been named by his carer is continuing to do well, he will be transferred to a facility in the next few weeks where he can join others and spend time outside in safety of a large enclosure.

He will continue to spend most of his time in his substitute pouch till such time as he feels strong enough to use his legs for more than just a hop around





Recently, strong winds in Casino knocked a young heron chick from its nest and it fell to the ground. Luckily it was found by resident Barbara, who called WIRES NR. Barbara knew where the nest was, high in a large gum tree and the parent birds kept returning to the nest to look for their chick. While WIRES members are trained to raise chicks, the best outcome for all concerned is if the chick can be reunited with its family.
The nest was too high to be reached with a ladder and Ross from Richmond Valley Tree Services kindly agreed to help free of charge for this worthwhile cause. Nathan arrived on site with the cherry picker and in no time had placed the chick back in its nest. Many thanks to Richmond Valley Tree Services from both WIRES and the heron family!





7 January

A Pazific Baza chick in WIRES care for about 4 weeks could not be returned to its parents due to the bird having changed hands more than once and the location where it was found was not provided when originally orphaned.

A second Pazific Baza chick came into care after a nest fell and its sibling died. There was only about 2 weeks age difference between the two and after four days, the second chick started to perch well, so an attempt to reunite it with its parents was planned. As its sibling had died, here was an opportunity to introduce the first chick into a new family.

Early one morning, the carer drove them to Tuckombil to the tree where the nest had fallen. With the chicks waiting safely in their rescue cages, she waited well back with eyes peeled. Every now and then, as the chicks were hungry, the younger one especially would do his loud 'whit too' call. For over an hour, there was no sign of parents.

At the point when it seemed a hopeless effort, a parent suddenly appeared. Soon after, the other parent arrived and both watched the chicks intently. The WIRES volunteer used a long extension pole to lift the younger chick (the parents' own offspring) into the tree. In the process, she was swooped by the parent bird! This is natural protective behaviour. The second chick was then quickly lifted up to the branch and the birds were left to themselves.

The kind landowner continued to monitor the birds after WIRES' departure. The following day, he reported that the parents were attending both chicks and the former orphan had started to fly with them, a very satisfying outcome.





Updated March 2021  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

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