Citizen Science rescues Gang-gang chicks

One of the advantages of citizens monitoring the activity at Gang-gang nest hollows is that chicks that fall out of the hollow can be placed back before they are predated by cats, foxes or birds like the Australian Raven. About a week prior to fledging gang-gang parents will entice chicks to the entrance of their usually 50cm deep hollow by only feeding them there. Sometimes the structure of the hollow entrance make it precarious for the Gang-gang chicks to perch there. This is exacerbated at feeding times where beak to beak contact by a parent can be quite forceful. Thus chicks occasionally fall or are knocked off their hollow rim perch prior to their wings being fully developed. We also suspect that extreme heat and/or smoke leads to a greater number of premature nest departures. On four occasions tree hollow watchers have discovered fallen chicks at the base of nest trees. At one site Government authorities didn’t allow a tree to be climbed but at the three locations where chicks could be replaced they have been quickly cared for by parent birds and successfully fledged. This includes one chick that spent a night at a local vets, separated from parents, but on reunion was immediately cared for by the parents. An added bonus of our study, and also guidance as to what to do if you come across a fallen chick.

To recap if you find a chick on the ground, best to put back into the hollow as soon as possible. If it can’t be put in the hollow place up as high as you can away from predators and with some leaf or branch protection from the elements. Don’t remove unless you absolutely have to.

Posted on January 21, 2022 11:07 PM by michaelmulvaney michaelmulvaney


No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments