A success story
“You learn quickly just how much three medium sized insect eating chicks consume in one day.”
Not long after Christmas Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association received a call from the vets advising that a nest of baby birds had been dropped in.
They had no idea of what sort of birds they were as they were unfeathered so when I went to collect them I was surprised (and delighted) to find three very naked and vulnerable baby cuckoo shrikes, complete with their nest.
I wasn’t able to find out much of a history of how they had come to be in care, but the important thing was to get them home and into the brood box.
Shrike babies are a delight to have in care as their big wide yellow mouths are easy to poke food into.
As they grew their food supply needed increasing and this brought home just how much effort both parents undertake to be able to provide for the growing family.
You learn quickly just how much three medium sized insect eating chicks consume in one day.
If these chicks were in the wild the smallest would have perished and been pushed out by the others who were older and stronger.
The smallest was spared of that in my care as there was enough food to go around.
While tiny the chicks needed feeding every half hour or so then it could be stretched out to one-two hours.
It is important to get their diet balanced as vitamin deficiencies can have dire effects on their growing bones and feathers.
A daily dose of sunlight was also important to their growth.
As the birds developed they left the nest during the day to perch returning to the nest again to sleep.
Another couple of weeks on they were no longer using the nest at all and were all up and perching, this was the time to move them to the larger avery outside.
From this point on they were learning to fly, bath, and take food for themselves.
Thankfully with all the rain we had an abundant supply of insects I could catch to teach them how to catch and kill.
It was with great satisfaction when the time came to release them and know they were old enough to start life on their own.
They were in care for nearly five months then frequented the yard often to receive a handout before finally going it alone.