Pete's Playful Butcherbirds
Pied-butcherbirds chicks are usually born in early December. Peter Gregory rescued a pair of chicks and had to work hard to rescue them, but found it was well worth the rewards of his Christmas gift. Here's his story.
6 Dec 2009
We’ve been feeding a couple of birds who had a nest and chicks up a gum tree about 500 metres away. We noticed a bloke climbing up the tree with a chainsaw about a week ago and when we investigated we found that the tree was being brought down as it had a lot of dead limbs which were dropping and nearly hitting kids going to school. We got the birds and the nest before it was dropped and brought the babies home. Luckily enough the parents followed us home and so the babies have been relocated into a medium size Neem Tree in the back yard. They are slowly but surely getting bigger and the parents seem to know that we mean them no harm. The babies are brought inside in a cats carrying cage each night as there are cats around and one nearly got up the tree one night and every morning I return them to the cane carry tray which holds the remains of the nest. I’ve enclosed a couple of photos of the babies and one of an angry-looking mum. The plastic tray at the back was put up behind the nest as it blocks the prevailing north east winds and storms. I hope that once they start flying they will stay in the area so we can watch what happens next breeding season.
12 Dec 2009
The Butcher Birds we saved are very close to being able to fly and I was wondering if you could tell me how to teach them to fly. They make some leaps of faith out of the small tree they are in but they are really just making a controlled crash. Is there anything I can do to assist them to fly?
13 Dec 2009
I’ve attached the latest photo. At the moment the flying is not going too well but they’re trying. Is there any way to tell the males and females apart at this stage? One is very slightly bigger than the other. The smaller one seems to have settled in a bit more and appears to be more intelligent – does this mean that it’s a male….LOL
30 Dec 2009
30 Dec 2009
Attached is a photo of the babies first time on the ground taken about 2 weeks ago. These two seemed to take a lot longer to fly than what I have read about on the net. Maybe they were being too spoilt. They finally left home today and have taken up residence in a huge tree down the road a bit. The parents still come back for feed and so hopefully they’ll all be back again next season.
Thank you Peter for sharing your story and pictures - Gitie and Ron.
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