Jan 15, 2019

The Oracle of the skies

One of our rescuers getting control of the talons.
One of our rescuers getting control of the talons.

Once in a lifetime you get to cross paths with an animal so majestic that it’s almost heart-stopping. Two of our amazing office volunteers - Susan and Katie - took the call from a resident in Mona Vale. Ian was pretty sure he had a wedge-tailed eagle in his suburban backyard. Given that we only have about 2 pairs on the Northern Beaches, everyone was a bit sceptical...

Two Sydney Wildlife rescuers - Susan and Lynleigh - were dispatched to the site and were thrilled (and a tiny bit nervous) to be faced with this incredible raptor! Catching him was going to be a bit of a challenge as he had already started calculating ways of bolting. After some artful ‘herding’ with giant blankets, Oracle (what we named him) was cornered and our rescuers were able to wrap him up, take control of the talons and get him into a bunker box for transportation to a veterinarian.

The Wildlife Hospital at Taronga was the obvious place to take Oracle as his needs would be quite specific and their team of veterinarians have considerable experience with raptors. He was immediately assessed, x-rayed, given treatment, fed and housed. He was found to have a puncture wound in his mouth and a couple in his chest, as well as an eye injury. He also wasn’t able to perch or take flight. They also informed us that he is a young bird - probably not even a year old yet.

Whilst trying to piece together how Oracle came to be in a backyard in Mona Vale, Margaret - another Sydney Wildlife rescuer and photographer - managed to get in touch with some of the other extraordinary photographers from the area. One had witnessed a mid-air fight between the pair of white-bellied sea eagles and the pair of wedge-tailed eagles about 6kms from where we rescued Oracle. Thank you to Biggles Csolander for the amazing images of this encounter. The images show adult birds but we suspect that Oracle had been involved in the melee before these pics were taken.

After 2 weeks in care with the incredible team at Taronga, Oracle was ready for the next step in his rehabilitation process. Lynleigh and Connor collected him for a 3-hour drive to the Southern Highlands where he would have the privilege of meeting the one-and-only Peg McDonald of Higher Ground Raptors. Peg is beyond amazing!

Peg set Oracle up in an aviary with CCTV where she could observe his movements and decipher what exercise regime he required for rehab.

Luckily the name Oracle is gender-neutral as Peg thinks he is a she 

This was a great example of many Wildlife organisations working together to provide the best outcome possible for our gorgeous animals.  

Imagine finding this raptor in your backyard
Imagine finding this raptor in your backyard
Oracle in one of Peg's wonderful aviaries
Oracle in one of Peg's wonderful aviaries
The mid-air fight with wedge-tails and sea-eagles
The mid-air fight with wedge-tails and sea-eagles
Lynleigh and Connor bring Oracle to Higher Ground
Lynleigh and Connor bring Oracle to Higher Ground
Dec 3, 2018

The Good News and the Bad!

Twin girl
Twin girl

It has been a relatively quiet start to pup season in New South Wales this year, which is good, as we much prefer pups and mums to stay together.

I have 3 pups in care at the moment: one little girl was found on the outside of a swimming pool and the little boy was found at the base of a tree, all alone. The final little girl I have in care is a bit special as she is a twin. Mum came into care with a head injury and it was found that she was carying two pups, which is very rare. The mum was only able to feed one pup while she was recevring from her injuries so the boy was left with her and both mum and pup are doing well. The littel girl came into my care a few weeks ago and after a bit of a rough start is also thriving.

We have started work on the maintenance at Kukundi and thanks to the hard work of a few Sydney Wildlife members, we have had a coolroom installed. This going to be amazing once the season is in full swing.

Unfortunately up north in Queensland, where they have been suffereing from heat wave conditions so early in the season, it is not such a good story. The Spectacled Flying Fox speceis in Queensland has been decimated by this record breaking heat wave. Thousands of adults and pups have dropped dead due to the extreme temperatures, and many hundreds of orphaned pups have come into care. 

This species is currently listed as vulnerable in Australia and conservationists have been pushing to upgrade the species to endangered.

Sorry to end the report on such a sad note, however, thank you for all of your generous donations that enable us to contiune to rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild our beautiful flying foxes. We couldn't do it without your help

Fiona

Pool girl
Pool girl
After the clean up
After the clean up
New cool room!!
New cool room!!
Boy pup
Boy pup

Links:

Oct 18, 2018

Lights, Camera, Action!!

I know how to eat by myself now
I know how to eat by myself now

One of the great advantages of having a rehabilitation facility is being able to give the animals a change to become independent and dehumanised before their release.  To do this we need to be as hands off and invisible to the animals as possible but we do need to continue to monitor their progress and keep an eye on their behaviour and any injuries that they might be recovering from.

Recently we have installed solar powered motion infrared cameras to capture images of the animals during the day and at night when they are moving around their enclosure without any human presence.

That benefits of monitoring the animals remotely include:

  • Being able to capture images of the nocturnal animals in their enclosures at night time when they are active.  
  • Reduces stress on the animals by not being in the enclosures as often. 
  • For animals recovering from injury, we are able to keep any eye on their movements and behaviour to alert volunteers if any additional intervention is required.
  • If multiple animals are sharing an enclosure, we are able to make sure all are feeding equally. Not one dominating the feeding area over another.
  • Ensuring there is no bullying between individuals or species.
  • Give us visibility of any unwanted pests or predators allowing us to take action.

By being able to doing all of this remotely via the cameras, the animals are able to have an environment that has minimal human interference allowing them to develop and hone their natural behaviours, instincts and feeding habits.

We are also able to capture the wonderful work the many volunteers do in the facility to keep it running. 

Not meant to be out during the day.
Not meant to be out during the day.
Plover learning to fly
Plover learning to fly
Are we sure the wallabies are eating the food?
Are we sure the wallabies are eating the food?
Volunteers captured in action
Volunteers captured in action
 
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