birding-aus Release of Boobook

Subject: birding-aus Release of Boobook
From: Julian Bielewicz <>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 21:00:42 +1000

The Southern Boobook has finally flown the coop!

It arrived last week in need of TLC and proved quite an interesting
experience, a mite different to shoving grapes into an eagerly opened
Figbird gape or keeping pace with a ravenous juvenile Torresian Crow.  Its
diet of slivered steak, alternated with kidney and/or liver, skewered on the
end of a toothpick (to appease my innate cowardice) and dunked in a (capful)
mixture of multivitamins, mineral supplements, amino acids and herbal
extracts (well, it did come from a concoction designated for human
consumption but which my friendly chemist felt would not adversely effect
avian innards).

We took the boobook down to Nathan Road on Sunday 7 March but this initial
attempt to release the bird proved a dismal failure, the bird simply
nose-dived into the grass and sat there looking rather bemused.  It
helplessness was only accentuated by the ease with which we were able to
recapture it.  Obviously the vet's recommended "couple of days R&R" were

Back home, where the Boobook was transferred to the large aviary on the back
deck. It has taken another week of patient feeding and cleaning to bring the
bird on but this afternoon, down at Nathan Road, it flew!

A moment of joy to see the magnificent raptor regain its freedom.  A
momentary sadness on realising that our Brief Encounter was at an end.  But
I wouldn't have it any other way.

Julian Bielewicz
Past President
Queensland Ornithological Society
12 Florence Street
Kippa-Ring Q. 4021 Australia

Tel: +61 7 3283 4921
Fax: +61 7 3889 4272

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