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Don't be a Magpie Kidnapper

MSC WIRES super busy period is here again and it has started with an unusual number of magpie chicks being 'rescued' by well meaning Eurobodalla residents.  Though we are always greatful people report our wildlife in need, with magpie chicks it is more often than not the case. When they finally fledge the chicks are slow to fly efficiently.  They have their 'L' plates on. Just like Wattlebirds and noisy miners, they are slow to launch. This can usually take up to, or more than a week.  At this time they are often on the ground flapping their wings, hopping and running in order to develop their flight muscles. This is normal behaviour.  Their parents are vigilant at this time.  They feed, protect and teach their baby to forage.  The parents are usually keeping a close eye,  even though you can't locate them.  Rarely is a magpie chick abandoned.

If you find any young bird that is feathered and standing,please keep a close eye on it from a distance to see if the parents are attending.  If they are and the chick is in no danger, there is no need to intervene.  If the chick is in danger or too close to a road, place it in a nearby bush and keep a lookout for its attending parents for at least a few hours.  If the parents return the fledging should be left alone.  Rescue is needed if the chick is out of the nest with a few feathers or has its eyes closed. 

For rescue please call WIRES on 1300 094 737, on line at or take the chick to the nearest vet who will contact WIRES for care.

Photo credit Sandy Collins

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