Living With Australia Birds
Australia has an amazing diverse and stunning range of birds. Around 800 species. There are birds which have adapted and evolved to survive in all habitats. Birds have both adapted to urban and rural regions. However equally birds have been placed under considerable pressure with introduced animals and massive habitat disturbance.
The overwhelming diversity and range of habitats and habits Australian birds have makes it extraordinarily difficult to have answers for them all. Here we will cover some topics broadly.
There is a tremendous variation and distribution of birds. A list is available here:
Birds and the Urban Environment
In all residences, yards and parks, there survive birds. These species have evolved and have managed to survive in hostile environments. Some species have become so well adapted that they may exclude other species e.g. Noisy miners. Interactions between people and wildlife is greater than ever before. The landscaping of native plants that attract wildlife is an example of this. Large scale restorations of natural bushland is increasing.It remains equally important to not feed wildlife, especially incorrect foods.
Any injured wildlife can be taken to your local veterinarian. Assistance may be gained from a wildlife rescue group or hotline.
Dealing With Birds
Birds washed up Emergency help
Birds appear on beaches and coastlines around Australia. Commonly after storms, strong winds or during the end of the breeding season and around the time of large migrations. Mortality is common along the age groupso f young and old birds. Typically penguins, seabirds e.g. gannets, wader species and shear water birds are common during certain periods of the year. Often these birds are underweight and in poor health. Assistance can be given immediately by phoning for help or rushing them to the nearest veterinarian or wildlife shelter.
There are many species of parrots and domesticated fowl that turn up in yards. Again each state will have a wildlife reporting mechanism which will often have the numbers of people that will help track down the owners and house temporarily.
Swooping birds Emergency help
This is likely the most common cause of conflict between people and birds. The common culprit is the Magpie and Lapwing plover. These two species have various routines. The magpie is more determined and will peck quite hard. Often he confrontation is heightened by the determination of both groups not to give in.
Use an umbrella to move past the nest with the offending birds.
Often previous years a fledgling has been taken when on the ground thereby creating a more exaggerated response the next year. DO NOT remove birds on the ground near a nest unless obviously injured (blood, snapped wings).
Allow 2 -4 weeks and avoid region as best as possible. Move around at night where possible. Wear bicycle helmets during the dasy if riding a bike.
Do not embark on confrontations with the birds.
In dangerous situations seek help from rescue groups and or your state environment body.
Birds in chimneys Emergency help
A common reported trapped bird call across Australia. Birds both introduced and natives are called in. Often fallen nestling/fledglings and adults. Ducks, plovers and some pest birds nest on the top of chimneys. Once fallen down they invariably end up at the base or on the ledge 1 – 2metre height from the chimney base. Birds can be encouraged down or manually removed. Professional help or rescue groups can be consulted to receive help.
Birds in walls Emergency help
Due to nesting birds typically pest and introduced species. The fledglings often fall down the crevice or gap between walsll. Some species of rosellas and lorikeets may also fall down wall space. Removal is best achieved by cutting a small section of plaster away. Due to the presence of electrical wiring and structure issues professional builder’s or plasterers are best sought. Wildlife rescue groups can be sought.
During the breeding season, birds collect all sorts of twine, string and twigs to make their nest. The common occurrence results in their off spring sometimes being entangled.
Fishing line also commonly results in heavy entanglements especially seabirds and aquatic water birds in lakes and rivers.
Birds Does Not Fly Emergency help
Often birds can be injured, typically cars or domestic animals. They may have injuries that result in them not flying. However consider that in certain times of the year especially during the months of spring. Birds may appear on the ground as a stage of development called “fledgling” . These birds appear as if they are adults, often calling to b fed, sometimes sitting immobilized on the ground. They may remain there for 5 – 14 days depending on species. The parents still assume the role of guardians. Despite this the fledglings are vulnerable and must fend for themselves when the parents are absent. Please do not remove them and place them somewhere else. It is ok to house them inside during the night and return in the morning. But do not feed them or offer water. The parents must do this.
Birds with suspected Broken legs Emergency help
Sometimes birds may be on the ground not moving again this could easily be fledgling stage of growth. Be concerned where there is obvious signs of trauma. It is OK to have birds checked by a vet if you are worried. Often parents will come by feed the birds rarely staying long and then fly off. Injured birds may have sever leg injuries from collisions with cars but especially dog attcks.