25 November 2009

More colour

Little Tosh is getting more colourful by the day. He's now about five and a half weeks old, weighs 83 grams and he's got a few green feathers coming out. You can't quite see it in this picture, but he's now got a little green tail as well.

The other baby Lorikeet that I wrote about in my last post now has company. A day or two after we got him we got two more about the same age. All three came into care because the trees they were nesting in were cut down.

We're lucky with those three as they're all self feeding already. All we have to do is put their food in a bowl in the cage and they'll feed themselves, unlike Tosh who has to be fed about six times a day from a pipette.

The little fellar above is another Tawny frogmouth I picked up from the vet on Friday. We suspect he's had some kind of head injury, going by those eyes. He's slightly cross-eyed and a lot more snappy than most Tawnies that age.

18 November 2009

Here's one I prepared earlier

In this afternoon's blog entry I mentioned that we'd got Tweedledee and Tweedledum when they were older than Tosh.

Well not long after that I got a call from Redlands Wildlife asking if we could take another young lorikeet. I sent Donna a text message and she picked the little dude up from our local vet on her way home from work. We usually have a rescue basket ready in the car.

This is what Tosh will look like in a few weeks.

I think Tweedledee and Tweedledum were a little bit older than this one, but not by much. Incidentally, this is a very healthy, very well fed little bird. Mum and Dad had obviously been doing a really good job, before their tree got cut down.

Apparently the tree lopper that found the little guy was devastated.

A month old

Our little Rainbow Lorikeet is now just over a month old and is really growing. We don't know whether it's a male or female, and probably never will as the only really reliable ways to tell are by DNA analysis, or by autopsy. So we came up with a name that can be either male or female. If you're a long time viewer of The Bill, you'll remember a male character called Tosh Lines and if you're a viewer of Torchwood you'll know of a female character also called Tosh (can't remember her surname off the top of my head, but it's something Japanese).

Having said that, if you notice me refering to Tosh as he, or him, it's just because it's easier than saying him/her, he/she, or it.

As you can see from the pictures, he's getting a lot more colour now that his feathers are growing. He'll eventually be blue on top of the head and below the chest, red and orange on the chest and green and some yellow elsewhere. That beak will eventually turn yellow as well.

Tosh isn't the first lorikeet we've hand raised, we had another couple that came early in the season that we named Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They weren't as young as Tosh though, they'd lost most of the grey downy feathers by the time we got them. They got to know us pretty well though and, now that they've been released, they come and visit us every day. In fact, we can't go and sit out on the back verandah with a cuppa in the afternoon unless we first put some food out for them. It's very awkward trying to drink your tea with a bird sitting on your hand trying to drink it with you.

It will be interesting to see what Tosh grows up like, since he only knows us as his parents. Once he gets old enough he'll go into the aviary with the older birds, but if he doesn't fit in then he may end up staying with us.

In future with lorikeets we'll try to use some kind of puppet that resembles an older lorikeet when we feed them. That way we may be able to avoid them imprinting on us. We do have the advantage that the main birds Tosh hears are lorikeets, that's when Bruce the cockateil isn't singing to him.

Edit; 17:51. Did I say his beak would turn yellow? I meant to say orange.

04 November 2009

Used to live in shoebox

I promised you an update on the little rainbow lorikeet.

Well, he's not living in shoebox in't middle't livingroom anymore. He's grown and is now in a basket. He's about two weeks old in these photos and if you look closely on the second one, you can just make out the red feathers starting to grow. He's gone from about 1 or 2 mls of Wombaroo per feed, to about 6 or 8 mls. That's about 5 or 6 feeds a day.

Of course he's not the only baby bird we're looking after. At the moment we have 9 baby Tawny frogmouths, 6 of which are in the big aviary outside. One or two of them are getting to the stage now where they're self feeding, meaning they'll fly down to where there's food and eat it, rather than us having to hand feed them.

It's not hard to see why people mistake them for owls when they see those big eyes. They're actually related to nightjars and are distant relatives of kookaburras.

I can't help thinking this last picture looks like a school photo, with the teacher on the right. That bigger bird on the right is actually the mother of one of the little ones. She's been released back where she was found, but the baby's still with us until it's ready.