Monthly Archives: July 2015

Eva – The Wedge-tailed Eagle

These are links to articles recently published regarding an dumped Wedge-tailed eagle with all her talons deliberately cut off.

ABC New England Northwest website

NSW Government Office of Environment & Heritage website

The University of Queensland – UQ News website


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Ruling The Roost – a Valuable Lesson

A hungry and inexperienced juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle found himself in trouble after entering a chicken coop and then becoming trapped. He must have panicked at not being able to escape and while his back was turned he was attacked by the (rather brave) rooster. The eagle suffered a deep puncture wound to his back, right next to the spine. The wound was about 5cm deep and filled with dirt and feathers.

He was rushed to the Casino Vet Clinic who gave an anesthetic and cleaned and flushed the wound. There where fortunately no other significant injuries, and although very sore and suffering nerve damage to the left leg and missing five tail feathers, he is on the way to recovery.

The puncture wound inflicted by the rooster

The puncture wound inflicted by the rooster

Hopefully this young eagle will keep out of harms way

Hopefully this young eagle will keep out of harms way

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Southern Boobook

This juvenile Southern Boobook was found weak and exhausted with a nasty wound to its back and all its tail feathers pulled out. This injury is typical of that caused by a predator, sadly in this instance most likely a dog or cat.

After initial re-hydration then a course of anti-biotics and twice daily applications of Flamazine ointment, the wound is gradually healing.

The little owl is starting to feel better and is now self feeding. He will have remain in care until the tail feathers regrow.




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Congratulations Dr Stephen Debus – Winner of the 2015 DL Serventy Medal

A belated, but sincere and well deserved congratulations to supporter and helper Dr Stephen Debus, who is the 2015 winner of the D.L. Serventy Medal, in recognition of his outstanding work on bird ecology in Australia.

The Serventy Medal has been awarded for the past 20 years and is the highest award for professional ornithologists in Australasia. Past winners include Hugh Ford, Harry Recher, David Lindenmayer, Penny Olsen and Richard Kingsford.

This award recognises Steve’s huge contribution to woodland bird and raptor research, and his guiding role in editing journals, most notably, Australian Field Ornithologist and its predecessor, Australian Bird Watcher. Steve currently has more than 100 published research papers, has written or edited 7 books on raptors, 2 chapters for the Handbook of Australian, Antarctic, and New Zealand Birds (HANZAAB), and 2 chapters for the Handbook of the Birds of the World.

We are lucky indeed to have him helping us.

Well done Steve!


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July Update From The Large Flight Aviary

One of the great things about this aviary is how it has engaged carers from other organisations across the state and beyond, and we are joining together to try and do even better for our BOPs, and to learn from our successes and failures together.

I am particularly grateful to the people who send birds that may have been in care for quite a while, and perhaps are a little shabby in general condition. We are just happy to be able to give these birds another chance, and that carers trust us to do this to the very best of our ability. We have had some truly great successes, coupled of course with the inevitable sadness that always accompanies being a vet or a wildlife carer, but in general ?

Charlie Carter was able to come and spend some time out here last week, checking on his patients and seeing the results of his efforts first hand. The travel involved and the time spent here took a good deal of his afternoon away from the practice, and to Charlie, Chris, Bill and the whole team at the Southern Highlands Vet Centre enough gratitude can never be extended.

Dr Steve Debus and Dr Jerry Olsen also deserve special mention and thanks for their continuing help with what can be released, when and where, and they have really ramped up our mission to give every bird we send back into the wild again the best chance possible of survival.

Good news all around – here are a few you might remember and their outcomes.


Our two young boobooks, one with the fractured tibiotarsus and one with an eye trauma.

Sitting in the empty wedgie nest, their preferred place despite a plethora of suitably astro turfed perches and stringy bark branches. They both did well and buddied up beautifully, now released.
Charlie on his home visit with final year vet student from Charles Sturt Uni Chloe, checking the Boobook’s leg functioning.


The young Australian Kestrel that came in complete with jesses, and quite tame. He really became a kestrel again after finding himself in the large flight, and started to become quite bossy even with one of the wedgies! He gradually learnt that he didn’t need to come to me for food and was released with the confidence that he had good kestrel skills and was no longer interested in me.


The young Brown Falcon who came in with a badly fractured humerus demonstrating his skills and readiness for release.


This Brown Goshawk was caught in a chook pen in Malua Bay, She had badly damaged her cere and also had a nasty puncture wound in her middle toe. All healed after a couple of weeks of treatment and flying and thanks to Dave and Jennifer Harker was returned back to Malua Bay hopefully wiser!!


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Young Adult Barn Owl

This beautiful young adult Barn Owl was found huddled on the ground slightly dazed and concussed. It has now recovered from the concussion, but is rather underweight so will remain in care for a little longer to gain body condition.

Barn Owls primarily feed on small mammals and are hugely successful at keeping down rodent populations. Rodent baits are effective in killing rats and mice but sadly, due to secondary poisoning, it then goes on to kill predatory species such as Barn Owls. An owl family with growing chicks will eat as many as 25 mice per night.


Young Adult Barn Owl

Young Adult Barn Owl

Young Adult Barn Owl

Young Adult Barn Owl

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