Monthly Archives: May 2015

Photography Awards NSW AIPP

Congratulations to our magnificent photographer and equally great and hard working web designer Mark Kelly, who has taken out multiple Gold and Silver with distinction awards in both the Illustrative and Landscape classifications in the  NSW AIPP (Australian Institute Professional Photography) Print Awards over the last two days. Well done Mark, I guess the only shame is that you didn’t write a pay rise equates to awards received clause in your ARCC Inc pay negotiations ha ha. We are so lucky and grateful to have you onboard, and are really pleased for you with your successes, once again!  – Peg


Landscape - Gold

Landscape – Gold

Landscape - Silver with Distinction

Landscape – Silver with Distinction

Landscape - Silver

Landscape – Silver

Illustrative - Gold

Illustrative – Gold

Illustrative - Silver with Distinction

Illustrative – Silver with Distinction

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Young Adult Wedge-tailed Eagle Euthanised

This adult male Wedge-tailed Eagle was rescued after he was found weak and exhausted on the ground at Pretty Gully, north/west of Tabulam. He was rushed to the Casino Vet Clinic where vet Ed King anaesthetised and conducted a physical examination.  X-rays  revealed a fractured femur with advanced osteomyelitis (bone infection). Sadly the only option was euthanasure.



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Nankeen Kestral and Transporting Raptors

Nankeen Kestrel

Earlier in the month I got a call from my partner Ian that there was a Nankeen Kestrel in the Mechanics shop next door to where he worked. It had flown into the shop & perch up on a shelf. The guy who owns the shop went next door & got Ian as he knew I was a carer.

Upon arrival Ian had already caught the little Kestrel & showed me something that shocked me. Tied around both of its legs were strips of leather which hung about 14cm long – these are called jesses & are placed on birds used for falconry. For those of you who don’t know, falconry is illegal in NSW.
This poor Kestrel had obviously been caught by someone – possibly stolen from a nest – & was clearly being used for falconry. This is probably why it flew into the shop & wasn’t worried about being near humans – it may have been looking for food.
Once at home I place it in the aviary where it was quite happy for me to be close to it, it even flew & sat on my head happily at one time. After getting some photos of it & notifying NPWS I soon took the jesses off its legs. No doubt it was glad to have them off as I noticed they would fling around & get caught under its feet sometimes when it landed on the perches.
Thanks to Julia an amazing Bird of Prey lady – Peggy McDonald – who cares for raptors down south was happy to take it & teach it how to be a wild bird again so that it doesn’t have to go into permanent care somewhere. I must also thank Richelle Roberts who help get the Kestrel from Glen Innes to Armidale & Steve Debus who took it from Armidale all the way down to Peggy at the south coast.
In order to transport the Kestrel, I had to make a special box just for it so that it would travel safely – you can’t put raptors in just any old cage. After receiving some advice I made up a box which turned out to be just right – Peggy was happy with what I had done & the Kestrel arrived safe & well.
Unfortunately though we’ll probably never find out who had it & was keeping it in such a way, it was just lucky it flew into where it did & ended up with me.
Kelly Stumbles – Glen Innes Area Co-ordinator


Nankeen Kestrel face

Nankeen Kestrel closeup

Nankeen Kestrel with jesses

Nankeen Kestrel with jesses attached

Raptor Transport Box

I was asked to include some photos of the box I sent the Kestrel down in as a guide for what to do. So here are some photos of a transport box I made up from the information I was given on how to get the Kestrel there safely & how to do it.
You need to make sure the box is tall enough for the bird to perch in without it’s head touching the top. A towel needs to be placed on the bottom of the box with another towel rolled up on top of it in the centre of the box – this is what the bird will perch on. The rolled up towel needs to be thick enough so that when the bird is perched on it, it’s tail feathers sit up off the floor of the box & aren’t damaged.
Any inside flaps of the box need to be taped securely to the inside of the box, also to prevent feather damage (this isn’t shown in the photo as I hadn’t done it yet). A lid needs to be made in the top of the box along with small air holes – air holes are best in the top of the box above eye level so the bird doesn’t try to escape.
Finally the entire box needs to be securely taped up so that the bird can’t escape & labelled – Kelly

Birds of prey will travel distances extremely well if housed correctly, and Kelly created the gold star of transport containers as you can see here. The little kestrel is doing extremely well and no longer feels the need to go to a human for his food, which is a brilliant start on his road to release. Special thanks to Julia and Kelly, and to Steve Debus for providing his transport. It is great to all work in together to see him return to the life he was born to lead – Peggy

Raptor Box inside view

Raptor Box inside view

Raptor Box top view

Raptor Box top view

Raptor Box finished view lid open

Raptor Box finished view lid open

Raptor Box finished view lid closed

Raptor Box finished view lid closed

(article and photos kindly provided by Kelly Stumbles)

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Published Steve Debus Birdlife Raptor Course

Published with  kind permission from Steve Debus – this is a comprehensive pdf containing over 74 slides about raptor identification.

A link to the document can be found on the resources page:

click on the link “Birdlife Raptor Course – Steve Debus

Posted in News

Grey Goshawk – Northern Tablelands

This young female grey goshawk was captured in a chook run in Guyra having caught a chicken for lunch. It is thought to be the same bird which had similar success in an open chook run Armidale.

The big question is: ‘what  do we do in cases like this?’  First I consulted the bird of prey network for their thoughts . Then Steve Debus for a correct ID as  in the book it was similar to the grey falcon image. I was also thinking it may have to be banded and relocated but if an adult bird there may be a mate.  I was relieved to be told  it was a juvenile just out on its own trying to survive. Interestingly it was further west of their normal range which should be  the forest areas on the eastern escarpment.  Its general condition was good but slightly underweight . We decided to feed her well  (it loved the UNE rats) , band then release when it had gained some weight .

This  was achieved so  the bird has been given another chance and released to hopefully find other goshawks  way out in the eastern wilderness area.

Such a beautiful bird.

Grey Goshawk - (photo provided)

Grey Goshawk – (photo provided)

Thanks to Julia Rose & Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers (NTWC) for sharing this story.

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Birds of a Feather

Despite not having to even have eye contact in the large flight if that is what they choose, it is amazing how well the birds all get along and they will often perch together, as these two were today. This is a young Brown Falcon sitting with an older female Peregrine with serious attitude!

The Brown Falcon is flying well now after a serious break in the radius that required pinning, and the Peregrine has a toe problem that is healing. She does 2 klm laps in the aviary in a couple of minutes!


Brown Falcon & Peregrine Falcon

Brown Falcon & Peregrine Falcon Perched Together

Posted in News