Carer reveals why wild animals are vanishing from backyards
FOR an animal lover, waking up to the sound of birds singing is unbeatable.
David Locke's home is normally surrounded by native animals enjoying the sanctuary he has created for them.
He estimates there were hundreds of animals thriving on his rural land, including rock wallabies, redneck wallabies, possums, galahs, tawny frogmouths and more.
But, in recent times, his Laidley property has grown quieter - with fewer creatures venturing back to sip water or snack on fruit and seed.
The wildlife carer said he could not be happier because it meant nature was providing - though the drought was far from over.
"There are not as many (animals visiting) now because we have had rain and the grass is coming up," David said.
He said, while it brought fewer visitors to his balcony, it meant animals were able to find water and food sources in the wild - a feat much harder in the midst of a drought.
A wildlife carer of 46 years, David takes care of injured animals, nursing them back to health in his home before releasing them into the wild.
It's not uncommon for the critters to return to his balcony and, on more than one occasion, creatures have returned, bringing young in tow as if to introduce them to David.
"They've been released but they don't go anywhere," he said.
"Having so many come back is the greatest feeling of it all."
David said, especially during a drought, humans could help animals survive.
"Always, leave out bowls of water," he said.
Despite mixed feelings around whether humans should feed wildlife, David said he was a firm believer in providing food and offered seed and fruit.
"The birds normally have their wild bird mix," he said.
"But all the lorikeets are nectar eaters because they have soft tongues - but where is the nectar?"