Seabirds commonly require rescue with fishing hook and line injuries as fishing season is in full swing. There is usually no need to take them into care as our seabird rescue team has the ability to remove the problem and treat the wounds on the spot.
Pelicans and adult ducks can be infected with botulism. This anaerobic bug is created in stagnant pools of water over summer periods and is flushed into larger waterways when heavy rain falls. This usually also becomes perfect fishing weather for pelicans who take the opportunity to benefit from the fish being pushed into rivers and lakes. Symptoms include floppy neck and loss of control of legs and wings; this can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Should you see a water bird having difficulty in or around water it should be reported immediately. Quick action can save the life of the bird.
Possums, during hot weather, will fall out of trees with heat exhaustion. Dehydration is fatal if not reversed. Either call our hotline or take them to a vet immediately.
Penguins commonly come into care because they have beached themselves, as they are about to start the moulting process and cannot make it back to their burrow. Little penguins moult for a period of 17 days, in which they must stay on land as they are not waterproof. This means they are unable to fish and lose weight at a rapid rate. If they have not fattened themselves up well enough (double their normal weight) before moult period begins, they are often too weak to successfully fish after the moult is completed. These penguins are at a very weakened state and will be found beached around the bay. Call our hotline ASAP as they need to come into care immediately – time is crucial. Do not over handle the bird as they stress easily.
Young furred ringtail possums are just clambering on to their mother’s back. They are not always good at hanging on and fall when their mother jumps. Disorientated, they usually climb up the nearest object looking for height to feel safe.
Echidnas mate between May and September. Mothers venture up to 3km a day for food and only return to feed their puggles (baby, which they may have left in a den or leaf litter) every 5-10 days for up to two hours. It is extremely important not to relocate echidnas. If you think it’s a male and it’s OK to move it think again. Even experts struggle to sex these spiky beasts.
Fledgling baby birds are now about, including butcher birds, noisy mynas, kookaburras and seagulls. Most people don’t realise that baby birds come out of the nest unable to fly. Their breast muscle is not developed enough for upward flight but usually is good enough to get them to the ground (albeit somewhat clumsily). They then spend the next two weeks on the ground whilst mum and dad feed and defend them. This time is crucial to a bird’s development as it is when they learn the survival skills from their parents. Fledglings are often unnecessarily rescued as people fear predation from cats and dogs.
Micro bat pups come into care. These small creatures are about an inch long as pups and need specialist care. Do not handle with bare hands as some bats carry the lyssavirus, a close relation of the rabies virus.
Magpie fledglings start to come into care from the second week of September when the high winds hit the area but are sometimes blown out of nests earlier.
Tawny frogmouth chicks are found from the third and fourth week about the size of a golf ball and covered with white fluffy down. Frogmouths are notoriously bad nest builders and it is common for chicks to fall to the ground. Remember these are nocturnal birds that hunt at night, they also feed their chicks and fledglings at night. Should you find a chick (completely white with large round eyes) call for a rescuer immediately. If you find a fledgling (tufts of white down amongst brown grey and black feathers) it will no doubt be trying to ignore you as its instincts tell it to be still and quiet; it will only open its mouth in defence to try and repel your presence. It may also let fly with some rather sloppy faeces as this usually puts predators off. This is all completely normal and does not need to come into care. Should you feel the animal is at risk please contact our hotline for more information.
Flying fox pups come into care when they are blown off mother during storms. If found please wrap baby in towel and keep warm do not attempt to feed anything contact a carer ASAP.
Blue tongue and Shingleback lizards are commonly found in your backyard sunning themselves. They do this to warm up so they can then look for food. All lizards need to warm up to be able to process their food. You will also find small young lizards which are self sufficient -they do not need to come into care. Lizards should only be rescued if they have been injured.
Rosella chicks are commonly found inside the roof and bought into care, often after an electrical surge and the need for an electrician to be called in; whom upon inspection of a roof discovers a nest of rosella chicks amongst the stripped wiring. After finding the hole where the birds have got into the roof, seal it up to prevent this from happening again.
Ducklings – second season. Often first-time mother ducks have their ducklings at this time. A third season may also occur in March.
Koala breeding season starts. Loud grunts are heard from long distances and pouch young appear anywhere from February – March onwards. If you come across a dead mother be sure to check the pouch.