Melbourne’s Wild Birds
We are very fortunate in Australia to have such a diverse range of native bird species. Thousands of wild creatures are injured, orphaned, and killed every day in Australia. In the majority of cases, this is caused by humans from motor vehicle injuries, cat predation caused by owners who do not properly confine their pets, and in some cases, outright animal abuse. In addition to assisting sick or injured birds, there’s also a lot we can do to lessen the chances of them being wounded or killed.
Found An Injured Bird?
Beware of sharp claws and beaks. Use an old towel or blanket to catch the bird rather than bare hands as this reduces stress on the bird and the likelihood of injury to both the bird and person.
Do not give sick, injured or orphaned wildlife anything to eat or drink. You may be inadvertently feeding unsuitable foods and this may cause further issues with the animal’s health.
Do not attempt to care for any injured wildlife yourself, and never plan to keep it as a pet.
If the bird is caught in something such as twine or string or some type of garden mesh that restricts its ability to move and fly, have someone assist you while you free the bird.
Record exactly where you found the injured animal. In almost all cases if the animal is rehabilitated and deemed fit for release it will be released as close to possible as to where it was found. This massively increases its chances of survival.
Call Michele on: 0411 600 591 immediately
Found a baby bird?
Many baby birds on the ground are thought to be without their mother, but this often is not the case. The mother usually nearby, watching or getting food. Baby birds may appear to have fallen out of trees, but it’s natural for them to sometimes be on the ground to forage and develop skills needed later in life. The baby birds are unable to fly but are capable of climbing trees. Unless a baby is visibly injured, they don’t need to be brought in.
Baby birds may need help if:
1.they have no feathers
2.they are visibly injured
3.their parents are dead nearby
If in doubt call Michele on 0411 600 591 but do not touch or catch the animal, unless advised to do so.
Help Prevent Injury to Birds
Safe Cat, Safe Wildlife
The number of wild animals that cats kill is astronomical. We estimate 95% of animals we rescue have been injured or affected by cats.
There is a simple solution, keep your cat indoors or in an outdoor enclosure. This will not only keep wildlife safe but themselves as well while still allowing them play and explore. Cat owners can install barriers along their fences to stop them escaping for as little as $200.
When outdoors, even when contained, use bell collars.
Water for Wildlife
In the summer, leave water for wildlife.
Use shallow bowls that will not tip over when the animals drinks from it
Use stones or sticks to ensure that animals that fall in can climb out
Change the water often
Leave the water in the shade in a safe place
If you find heat stressed animal, please contact your nearest shelter and keep the animal cool and quiet until it can be assessed. Offer the animal water, but do not feed it.
Wildlife Friendly Netting
Fruit tree netting that isn't secure can trap and kill flying foxes and birds. If you wish to use netting to safeguard your fruit, only use wildlife-safe netting. When fully stretched, netting with a mesh aperture (hole size) of 5mm x 5mm or less is safe. It is not wildlife safe if you can poke a small finger through the net.
Only use netting with a mesh aperture (hole size) of 5mm x 5mm or less
Check netting-covered trees every day to ensure no animals are caught
Remove any old netting that isn't protecting the fruit
Net bags or fruit stockings are a fantastic alternative to netting an entire tree
Don’t Feed Wildlife
It’s important not to feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife can:
-alter the natural behaviour of wildlife
-make some animals aggressive
-cause poor nutrition and spread disease
-encourage the presence of vermin in the wildlife habitat
Bread in particular can cause severe damage to young wildlife. Feeding adult wildlife bread means their young can be born with disabilities since they are not receiving the correct nutrition, alternatively, feeding the young bread could cause them health issues as they are not getting the correct meals form their parents.
Don't feed magpies and other meat eating birds. Many people think they are helping by giving these birds mice meat but mice have no protein or calcium and can cause serious deficiencies.
Changes in Habitat
Native flora has vastly declined over Melbourne as urbanization took over. Plant native shrubs and trees in your garden benefits many species of birds.
if you find an injured animal please call the South Oakleigh Wildlife Shelter.