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Heron chick rescue: all part of the job for WIRES

Mid south coast WIRES have rescued lots of animal this season but two weeks ago we got called to something quite unusual. Two white faced heron chicks. These birds usually nest high up in trees and are great parents so their chicks don’t often come into care but one parent bird decided a boat moored at Narooma would make a good spot for a nest. That is until the boat owner wanted to use his boat. The two chicks and one egg were collected from the nest and WIRES was called.

The chicks, according to their weights of 32g and 30g, were only two days old. It was a sharp learning curve on heron care and lots of reading up on them. They came in quite lethargic, dehydrated and not very responsive. With some immediate emergency rehydration done by Nerida Cook and Rachel Mcinnes, the next day the two birds were transported up to the branches bird coordinator Sandy Collins.

Above: Two day old heron chick just hours after being rescued (photo by Nerida Cook)

Above: A week old (photo-Sandy Collins) Below: Spike is Almost Two weeks old (photo-Sandy Collins)

Their care involved a bit of diet tweaking and feds every 1-1.5 hours, they have grown remarkably quickly.

Now named, Spike (initially the smaller of the two but now the big one) and Spikette weigh over 150g-200g. And all that growing in two weeks. They no longer share a wicker basket ‘nest’ due to their size so have to have a ‘nest’ each.

They will remain in care until they have their adult feathers and are able to catch live food for themselves.

To donate to the local WIRES branch please follow the link

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