Over the past four weeks WIRES has received more than 50 calls to their 24/7 hotline about Tawny Frogmouth chicks.
Over the past four weeks WIRES has received more than 50 calls to their 24/7 hotline about Tawny Frogmouth chicks. Photo credits: Julie Marsh

Tawny frogmouth chicks keeping volunteers busy

OVER the past four weeks WIRES has received more than 50 calls to their 24/7 hotline about Tawny Frogmouth chicks.

Tawny nests are a loosely constructed platform of sticks, which makes it very easy for adventurous chicks to fall.

One little chick in particular created quite a flurry this week when it fell from a beautiful Jacaranda tree in the Lismore City Council depot grounds at Wyrallah Road. Council worker Rod had seen that the bird was on the ground and called WIRES for assistance.

When WIRES volunteer Julie arrived a parent bird was sighted with another young tawny on the nest. However, the little chick was dehydrated and "flat”. Julie decided that it would be in the best interests of the chick to be given some warmth and hydration before reuniting it with its family. Julie took the tawny home and after spending the morning warming and being given fluids, it was much more alert and ready to be returned to its family.

Reuniting a Tawny would normally occur at dusk but in this case the Lismore City Council workers had offered to use their cherry picker. Operator Cory spoke gently and respectfully to the adult tawny as he popped the baby back in its nest with its sibling. The mother stayed on the nest and snuggled its little wayward chick under its feathers.

When Tawny chicks hatch, they resemble white fluff balls and at this stage are very vulnerable and should remain in the nest. As they grow, the feathers become a mottled grey/brown colour and the chicks become more active. Surprisingly, they can fly while still fluffy and - like this little chick at the Council depot - may end up on the ground accidentally.

A huge thank you for Rod, Cory and all the other council workers involved for the care they showed for this baby tawny! If you find a chick on the ground, call WIRES on 6628 1898 for advice. It is very likely that the chick can be reunited with its family, but it may need short term care beforehand.

If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES. Now is a great time to join since their next workshop will be held in Lismore on October 7th and there is time beforehand to complete the online part of the course. For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

An all-volunteer organisation, WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Now is also a great time to join WIRES and start learning to be a wildlife rescuer. Our 24-hour hotline is for all rescue, advice or membership calls in the Northern Rivers - call 6628 1898 or go to http://wiresnr.org/Helping.html to find out how you can help.