A baza chick recently came into WIRES care but could not be returned to its parents as after several changes of hands the location where it was found could not be identified.
If you aren’t familiar with it, the Pacific baza is a medium-sized, long-tailed hawk with a prominent crest. They live in forests and woodlands along the tropical and subtropical coasts.
As luck would have it, second baza chick, a couple of weeks younger than the first, came into care a few weeks later following a nest fell in which its sibling died.
After a few days, after the second chick started to perch well, WIRES hatched a plan to reunite it with its parents was planned. As its sibling had died, here was an opportunity to introduce the first chick into a new ‘foster’ family.
Early one morning, the carer drove them to Tuckombil to the tree where the nest had fallen. With the chicks waiting safely in their rescue cages, she waited well back with eyes peeled. Every now and then, as the chicks were hungry, the younger one especially would do his loud ‘whit too’ call. For over an hour, there was no sign of parents.
At the point when it seemed a hopeless effort, a parent suddenly appeared. Soon after, the other parent arrived and both watched the chicks intently. The WIRES volunteer used a long extension pole to lift the younger chick (the parents’ own offspring) into the tree. In the process, she was swooped by the parent bird! This is natural protective behaviour. The second chick was then quickly lifted up to the branch and the birds were left to themselves.
The kind landowner continued to monitor the birds after WIRES’ departure. The following day, he reported that the parents were attending both chicks and the former orphan had started to fly with them, a very satisfying outcome.
WIRES is an all-volunteer organisation, not a government service, and relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support. As it is a charity, all donations $2 and over are tax deductible.
WIRES also gives basic training courses three times during the year. The next course will be 21-22 February. If you are interested, call the 24-hour hotline on 6628 1898 or go to WIRES Northern Rivers website to find out how you can help.