As wildlife carers we love sharing the stories of our charges. Recently we had the pleasure of raising two mangrove/striated herons, Harry and Keenie.
The chicks came in about a week apart but were found at the same spot so it is likely they were nest mates*. The original baby, named ‘Harry’ had gone through a 24 hour period of paralysis (cause unknown) in the first week and we were very worried about his survival. Fortunately the addition of the second chick, ‘Keenie’, worked like a balm and seemed to boost his spirits and his appetite.
The two of them started snuggling up together at night and soon became inseparable.
Chicks were fed fresh seafood (Dave was stoked to have an excuse to go fishing every day) as well as insectivore mix, crickets, worms and small amounts of meat. They also had their diet supplemented by calcium to ensure strong bones.
Each day they were taken out of their enclose to get some vitamin D, stretch their wings and legs and encouraged to explore the world. It was incredible to watch their instincts kick in, especially when it came to catching insects or fish – their necks would extend and contract SO fast that if you blinked you could have missed it!
Both chicks saw Jenna as their mum and would follow her around the yard and come when she called. Over time their natural curiosity and aptitude took over and they came to depend on us less and less. Eventually they stopped coming back at all and now live a 100% wild life.
A short clip about the rehabilitation of our heron chicks – from little fluff balls to release at Daintree Ice Cream Company.
Posted by Daintree Ice Cream Company on Friday, 9 February 2018
*Note: Every attempt was made to reunite the chicks with their parents when they were first found but in these cases it was not possible.
If you find an injured or baby bird please follow the steps laid out by Wildcare Australia: http://wildcare.org.au/species-information/birds/