Mud Brick Walls & Kookaburra - Follow Up

Subject: Mud Brick Walls & Kookaburra - Follow Up
From: Timothy Hyde <>
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 12:33:39 -0800
Mud Brick Walls & Kookaburra - Follow Up

The call to WIRES wasn't unusual.
"I've found a young Kookaburra on the ground."

But this was no ordinary Kooka. It was "Squarkle" as Lyn had named the begging baby.
This was the offspring of the Mud BrickWall Kooka (see Archives).
The adults had stopped their nest hole digging before they broke through
into Lyns living room. The little bird had fledged and come to ground.
The adults were around and concerned.

Lyn had been watching for most of the day, but became concerned when Squarkle got close to the roadway. She rang me and I suggested she placed a cardboard box over the bird, as she wasn't confident in picking it up. I made my way there asap.

The bird was healthy and feisty with no apparent injuries. It was late afternoon and I made the decision to leave the bird there rather than take it into care.

After my last story John Gamblin of Victoria had sent me a lovely nest box in case the Kookas had broken through the wall with their ferocious digging. It wasn't needed for that, but now it became invaluable.

We placed the nest box on the roof as close as possible below the nest hole. Filled it with a layer of leaf litter and then placed in the bird itself. It retreated to the far back dark corner and seemed to be content.

I watched from my car for about 15 minutes when I saw an adult Kooka land in a nearby tree. Time to go. I returned the next morning, to an empty nest box. A good search of the area revealed nothing. I was confident Squarkle had gone off with the parents.

I don't know why Squarkle was on the ground. Possibly the position of the nest hole to the closest trees was too far for him to manage. Also a couple of days of extreme heat prior to fledging may have forced him out a day early.

I have often wondered whether in remote areas if it is quite natural for fledging Kookas to came to ground for the first day to be attended by the family group until they are strong enough to fly to higher branches.

So many young come into Wires care over the Xmas period usually just to be kept safe overnight to be returned to the group asap. If anyone has any info or ideas on this I would love to hear from you

I have enjoyed being involved with this "rescue" and thank Lyn for her patience and tolerance of our wonderful wildlife. I would also like to thank John for his very generous donation of the nest box.

"Ya gotta laugh"

Lynda Holmes
Blue Mountains / Capertee Valley

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