Re: Wring its neck!

Subject: Re: Wring its neck!
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 08:14:49 +1000
Jennifer may well have opened a real can of worms with this one.  I agree
with most of what she has said.  I was involved with a wildlife carers
group in Newcastle, banding their rehab. birds prior to release.  This was
at the request of the carers group with an aim of determining the fate of
their animals and endeavouring to identify areas that may have required
attention.  You certainly can't doubt the commitment that most of these
carers have.  They have an array of arguments as to why they should be
doing what they are doing, just as others have arguments for why it is all
a waste of time.  I have no intention of being drawn into this.

The information that we got from Tawny Frogmouths was interesting.  This
species was the second most commonly hand-raised bird after (you guessed
it) magpies.  From memory, seven hand-raised birds came back into care
three months to three years after release.  These birds were obviously
coping out their in the big bad world.  All seven came back into care
because they were hit by cars.  In contrast, two siblings came back into
care three days after release.  These birds were not coping at all.  They
were raised by someone who had no experience with this species, being a
waterfowl specialist, and were obviously not prepared correctly for

This group is very particular about who raises what.  Carers are required
to undergo training before being inflicted upon a particular bird.  The
above example was early in my involvement and, I believe, an aberration due
to pressures operating at the time - too many birds, too few carers.  It
was a pleasure banding birds at several of the carers homes.  The birds
were obviously not imprinted and weren't used to people approaching their
aviary which was screened from the rest of the yard.  These birds were not
going to land on people and request food (as a hand-raised Whistling Kite
was known to do several times on the NSW north coast - different carers
group and a lesson learnt the hard way).

Whether there is any real value in hand-raising several dozen Tawny
Frogmouths each spring is debatable, and one that I am going to avoid.  The
point is some people feel that they are obligated to do this for various
reasons and nothing is going to convince them otherwise.

David Geering

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