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The Bigfella
10-28-2009, 11:39 PM
"Hey Dad... there's an injured Kookaburra beside the road... can you come and get it?"

Going on the strength of the bite this little bugger just gave me, I reckon he/she might survive. It's clearly a young one, just out of the nest at a guess.... no blue on its wings. It will have been clipped by a car.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/kooka1.jpg

Not exactly a brilliant photo, but the object here is to calm this one down, not stress it. That beak is about 4" long.

Hopefully we have better luck with this one than the King Parrot a while back, but it had brain damage. I think this one is just stunned.

coelacanth2
10-29-2009, 12:35 AM
Dang, I thought this was a thread ALL ABOUT ME. After all, it IS all about me, right?

George.
10-29-2009, 04:19 AM
A kookaburra is a kingfisher. I have been pecked by one. It drew lots of blood. Keep in mind their effect on prey, and protect your eyes and soft bits. :D

Paul Fitzgerald
10-29-2009, 04:23 AM
A kookaburra is a kingfisher. I have been pecked by one. It drew lots of blood. Keep in mind their effect on prey, and protect your eyes and soft bits. :D

So where exactly did it bite you?

seanz
10-29-2009, 04:45 AM
I can't ever hear about Kookaburras without thinking of my Mom and the song she taught us as kids-
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!
:)

Doug

Awwww...... used to feed Kookaburras when I was a kid and Mum would sing that song.
:cool::)

Goodonya Ian for preserving the native wildlife......good to know you're willing to bleed for a cause.
:D

elf
10-29-2009, 05:53 AM
How did the name come about? And how big is that bird? And are they common like gulls?

George.
10-29-2009, 06:24 AM
So where exactly did it bite you?

In the hand. I was getting it out of a mist net, where it wasn't supposed to have tangled - as if you need a mist net to know there are ringed kingfishers about, with their incessant cackling and diving. :rolleyes:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2409/2359101711_1c26840b84.jpg

The size of a small chicken, with a beak capable of piercing a small mullet clean through.

The Bigfella
10-29-2009, 05:55 PM
Elf, Wiki gives a good description of them, with some links to audio files... which I can't check on this 'puter... but you've probably heard these birds on any Hollywood jungle movie... they make a real laughing sound.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughing_Kookaburra

Laughing Jackass was a common name for them when I was a kid, now everyone just calls them by their aboriginal name... Kookaburra. They are a quite common bird. When I was a teenager, I used to feed up to a dozen at a time in our backyard. They are meat eaters.

Wiki says they are 18" long, but I'd have said a bit less. I'll run a tape over this guy later on if he doesn't mind. He seems to be doing fine...

purri
10-29-2009, 08:08 PM
The word derives from the Gamilaraay/ Kamilaroi "guuguugagaa" (sp?) as an approximate of the first few bars of the call.

Anyway I'm a bit rusty on the lingo so can't help much more.

P. Austin's dictionary has more if you're interested (AIATSIS website www.aiatsis.gov.au (http://www.aiatsis.gov.au))

"Nhaama birru wandagu gamilaraay ngura"

The Bigfella
10-31-2009, 12:57 AM
Well, the bird is still with us. If put on the ground, it lowers its wings. I'm still hopeful that its only bruising, if its a break, we may have a "runner" for the aviary, although the wife isn't keen.

It wouldn't eat at first, then it would eat worms if we weren't watching, now my daughter is handfeeding it mealworms.

Looking like a survivor at least.

purri
10-31-2009, 06:12 AM
Lowering of wings is usually a (subordinate) "feed me" response. (recognising who's the boss)

The Bigfella
10-31-2009, 06:23 AM
Yeah... its definitely a young one. It might have flown the coop a tad early.

We'll give it a few days and take it back to where it was beside the road and see how it goes.

The Bigfella
11-04-2009, 04:22 AM
It seems to be a good survival chance. It may just be that it ran out of puff. It is very thin around the keel, so we've been hammering the food into it. I think I put in about 70 mealworms yesterday and a small skink that was silly enough to let me catch it. The same the day before.

It wasn't keen on eating today... more keen on escaping its lair but it hits the ground pretty soon. I bought some frozen "pinkie" mice... but it keeps spitting them out. You have to thaw them with boiling water and I don't blame it for not liking the look of them.

I've forced 4 down its throat today. Once they go beyond the tongue... about 4" in from the tip, that's it, they stay down. Damn things are about $1 each.... for a bald, baby mouse.

skuthorp
11-04-2009, 05:24 AM
We've got a pair at the new place, raising young too. Lots of lizards and spiders about, they hang about when I dig or mow. Last summer I saw them get two snakes so they can stay. They have pretty hard heads, I saw one fly under a moving car once. bounce out and keep going.

Captain Blight
11-04-2009, 05:40 AM
Damn things are about $1 each.... for a bald, baby mouse.You should buy them from Honest Jocko's Frozen Bald Baby Mouse and Mealworm Emporium. And, of course, they're much cheaper in bulk.

skuthorp
11-04-2009, 05:43 AM
"Damn things are about $1 each.... for a bald, baby mouse."
You could try breeding them in the back of the pantry, there's probably one there now....................

The Bigfella
11-04-2009, 05:59 AM
"Damn things are about $1 each.... for a bald, baby mouse."
You could try breeding them in the back of the pantry, there's probably one there now....................

Yeah... that'd be about as popular as I'm going to be when she spots the bag of them in the freezer eh?

skuthorp
11-04-2009, 06:12 AM
Yeah... that'd be about as popular as I'm going to be when she spots the bag of them in the freezer eh?

How's her eysight mate?. Wouldn't want her to mistake 'em for frozen Dim Sims eh?

paladin
11-04-2009, 11:02 AM
He He.....reminds me of my teenage years. Local banker put a 5 cent bounty on all the dead crows we would kill.....but he required proof.....5 cents wasn't much if you used a .22 and shot them one at a time. A friend and I "obtained" some 1/4 sticks of dynamite from granddads stump removal shed.....painted them with hot glue (dangerous) and then rolled them in pea gravel.......we then found the rookery, and wired 4 of these all over it with some old military field telephone wire........went back after sundown, saw the rookery was black with crows, and touched them off. We collected a helluva lotta crows....but nowhere to put them until the weekend. Mom had a big chest freezer in the garage.....so we bagged them there....the following week my chum had found another such rookery, and we repeated the trick. By saturday morning we told dad we wanted to go to Seminole as we had some crows for Mr. Schuler. He was a wee bit surrprised when we loaded the trunk of the car with some bags, almost too heavy for a couple of 14 years olds....We dragged the bags into the bank and told Mr. Schuler we had 112 dead crows for him......he suddenly decided not to count, then paid us....as we were leaving he got a bit alarmed..we were leaving the crows......he then offered us a buck each (1954) to dispose of them. He decided to withdraw his "bounty" after that.

Bruce Hooke
11-04-2009, 12:20 PM
as if you need a mist net to know there are ringed kingfishers about, with their incessant cackling and diving. :rolleyes:

Yup, quiet and retiring they are not!

:D :D :D

Bruce Hooke
11-04-2009, 12:24 PM
Wiki says they are 18" long, but I'd have said a bit less. I'll run a tape over this guy later on if he doesn't mind. He seems to be doing fine...

IIRC, bird measurements are still given for the bird laid out flat on its back. This, of course, means the given measurement is a good bit longer than the actual beak to tail length of the bird when it is in a more normal position!

The Bigfella
11-04-2009, 02:49 PM
IIRC, bird measurements are still given for the bird laid out flat on its back. This, of course, means the given measurement is a good bit longer than the actual beak to tail length of the bird when it is in a more normal position!

So that's it? I just put the ruler beside it and got 37cm... call it 15" in sitting position.

TimH
11-04-2009, 02:49 PM
http://soundboard.com/sb/kookaburra_sound_clips.aspx

The Bigfella
11-06-2009, 09:24 PM
He/she is getting a bit more adventurous and makes the odd escape attempt.... ending up in the laundry sink or on the floor. The bird isn't restrained in any way but it seems content to sit and be waited on. It is definitely thin around the keel, so the fattening process has been accelerated.

My wallet just popped when I bought 10 pinkie rats instead of the mice I last bought. $2.75 each. Who'da thunk I'd every be paying for dead rats?

The bird will take mealworms from tweezers, but not the mice or rats, so....

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/kookarat1.jpg

Open wide....

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/kookarat2.jpg

... yeah, so I have to pry the beak open, which isn't resisted much, and if I don't push it at least 3/4 the way down, it gets spat back....

But, hey... here's a fed bird.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/kookarat3.jpg

The Bigfella
12-12-2009, 12:59 AM
We've still got it... him/her... and it still can't fly.

It spends its day in the aviary and night in that box. It finally, two days ago, started taking mice without me having to shove them down its neck, making feeding a bit simpler. Its nice and calm most of the time, but if left in the house, it will abandon the box and do some exploring... so the aviary it is. It jumps on a finger or shoulder for the trip down and back.

It gets visited by the local kookaburra family... and no harm is done, with the bird in the aviary. I did try leaving it out to see if they would adopt it. Bad mistake. It got bowled off the fence by one of the locals and I had to rescue it.

It got a flatmate today. A Musk Lorikeet.... which appears to be an aviary escapee. Very friendly - has been hanging around the aviary for a few days and tried to drown itself in the duck pond today. It might have a growth on its neck... haven't had a good look yet, but hopefully not.

Here's a net photo of one.

http://birdsinbackyards.net/images/factsheets/full/Glossopsitta/concinna/40512_musk_lorikeet.jpg

botebum
12-12-2009, 04:34 AM
I've never been much of a birder but if I ever get to visit Upsidedown Land I think a bird watching trip might be worthwhile:)

Doug

George.
12-12-2009, 06:41 AM
A lot of the larger predatory birds will not learn to fly spontaneously. They have to be taught. Parents do this by making them chase their food ever farther, in ever bigger "jumps". You'll probably need to simulate this, unless you want a grown bird hanging out on your couch and living off your dime until he's 30. :D

Wild Dingo
12-12-2009, 07:53 AM
:D ooh god George PLEASE give a warning when you say things like that!!! I just had visions of old Ian there hopping around the paddock with the tiny kookaburra watchin from the verandah laughin its wee featheredarse of!!! :D :D

When we were in Carnarvon a few years back now we had a family of tawny frogmouth owls living in the roof the mom would fly down and watch Jo hang the washing out Jo thought it was the hoons playing with the clothes line that was making the clothes end up on the grass until we were out having a barbie one day and one of the hoons told me to look at the owls on the line... so theres mom owl sitting pecking at one peg and dad owl pecking the other until flick peg disappears over their heads and down drops the shirt, nickers, shorts whetever onto the grass a few hops by the birds and they began on the next item! :D ahem we kept it our secret for some time after that until one day Jo saw the mom start on a peice of clothing she had just hung out!! :D

In Mandurah we had a family of white crested cockatoos in the tuarts next to the house and a family or two of blue tongue lizards next to the shed... noisey buggars white crested cockatoos

Then in Brunswick we had a friggin huge pine of some sort out near the shed which grew masses of black cockatoos and I thought white cockys were noisey! Damn but these buggars could raise the dead with their squarking... would take out the pine cones and drop them on the roof of the shed ONLY when they KNEW I was in there doing something!! scare the ****e outta a bloke... down near dingo creek we had several families of kookaburras one in particular remained there never flying away too far... the creek was chockers all year round with creatures that made for a veritable smorgasborg of tucker for Kookaburras... snakes abounded along with lizards and lorrekeets and parrots... probably the best place so far for wild life

Here Ive got a couple of blue tongues that I encourage to remain to keep the snake population to a minimum bird wise Ive got Ibis and small pigeons along with a few wheeros that drop in now and then Im starting a line of sunflowers so they come for the seed but for now a mix of watermelon, rockmelon and pawpaw seeds seems to be just the ticket for them

Good job Ian :cool: