Enjoying breakfast outside is one of the pleasures of the spring weather. Today I could hear the sounds of baby birds begging for food. Magpie chicks out the front and a Pied Currawong in the back garden.
The bird in the back garden is a special case. The little Pied Currawong was blown out of it’s nest during violent wind storms about 10 days ago. We consulted our local vet practice who advised that if the parents were still looking after the baby we should focus our involvement on keeping the chick safe from ground predators. We took their advice and have had some interesting times since.
Our first decision was to try and keep the chick in one of the outside chicken runs. This way the parents could easily feed the baby but the fences would provide some safety from the local cats, dogs and foxes. The chick had other ideas. This little bird has hopped around and over the fences we hoped might keep it in the safer parts of the garden.
It was more difficult to decide how to handle overnight management of the chick. The first night we couldn’t find the chick and despaired to find it again. Yet the next morning there it was several metres up a tree! Unfortunately it didn’t take long for the little bird to be hopping down from it’s safe perch. Since that first night we have opted to put the chick in one of our pet carrying boxes each night. The box stays outside where the adults can see the chick and I get to get up at day break to let the chick out. It’s a good thing we did this, as a few days ago I walked down to let the chick out and found a cat’s collar and bell on the path only a few metres away from the cage.
A couple of times a day we pick the chick up off the ground because we are worried that it could also be attacked by our chickens (sometimes chickens act in unpleasant ways). I have learned the hard way to give the chick a sturdy stick to hang onto, so I avoid painful puncture wounds. I also want to avoid handling the chick as much as possible.
We don’t expect the chick will be around for much longer as every day it’s wings carry it a bit further into the trees. It still remains fully dependent on the parents for food and looks like that will be the situation for some time to come. In the interim we enjoy our small visitor while the parents remind us that we are tolerated as helpers, but that’s all.
I see it’s been a while since I last posted which is mainly due to us being away again.
Sadly while we were away our oldest chicken Artemesia (AKA Arte), left us for the great chook perch in the sky.
The ever reliable broad beans have gone from small plants to barely constrained in 6 weeks, as you can see from the photos.
The other half of the team has been experimenting with kang kong/water spinach. We got a bunch from the markets and stuck a few stems in a bottle of water. Just over one week later it has roots galore!
We will be planting it out very soon. Although it is a tropical plant our summer’s in Canberra are hot enough for us to get a useable crop in one season. These will be a great addition to our stir fries.