Lifestyle

'Rex' the baby kookaburra lands on his feet

IN SAFE HANDS: A kookaburra chick about five days old was found and taken into the RSPCA campus at Wacol.
IN SAFE HANDS: A kookaburra chick about five days old was found and taken into the RSPCA campus at Wacol. Sarah Harvey

IT may sound strange, but the best thing a young kookaburra chick did for his long-term future was fall out of a tree.

He looks like a dinosaur, and was about to be christened "Rex" when the QT spoke to RSPCA Wildlife Hospital veterinarian nurse Madeline Riemecker.

But his future now looks secure thanks to some smart work by the people who found him and the outstanding care he is about to receive.

Usually only one chick will survive from a kookaburra nest so the fact that he has fallen and survived means that the prospects are good for both himself and the other chick in the nest.

"There are usually between one to three chicks (in each nest) and it is the strongest that survives because of the massive competition. The parents feed the biggest and strongest chick," Ms Riemecker said

"But he is really healthy and has a good chance of living. He has fallen a good 20m from a tree. The finders tried to make a new nest and place him back up in a tree overnight but unfortunately that didn't work out.

"He will probably be in specialised care for a month. He is basically featherless so we will closely monitor his temperature.

"We will feed him ox heart, steak and mince and mix in a few different supplements to make sure he gets everything he needs.

"Sometimes kookaburra parents will adopt stray chicks so we have them outside and encourage them to call out to local kookaburras. We can tell they have accepted the baby when they come down to feed it."

Ms Riemecker said kookaburras are "cheeky and fun to look after."

"They are kind of like puppies in care. They have a lot of attitude and character. This one looks like a bit of a dinosaur so we are going to call him Rex."

Many kookaburras are being brought in to the hospital due to habitat loss and cat and dog attacks.

Kookaburra Facts

  • Parents have one to three chicks in each nest
  • Only one usually survives
  • Kookaburras are very territorial
  • Habitat loss is a major issue

Topics:  kookaburras, rspca wildlife hospital


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