Tawny finds his way home after Good Samaritan saves the day
TO A tawny frogmouth, territory is everything.
Take it away from him and he's lost; put him in someone else's and chaos could result.
This was the dilemma facing local rescue group Wildlife Rockhampton, a Yeppoon carer and a tawny who has been in their care for the past week and is now fully fit and ready to go back to the wild.
A kind gentleman who described his home as "in town" handed the bird in to Acacia Vet Surgery last Tuesday. Unfortunately, details of precisely where are unknown, so the problem was only the tawny knows where he's from.
"Tawnies live in family units," explained Wildlife Rockhampton carer Julie Robertson. "Bring a big male like this tawny into another family's territory and sadly it won't end well for either.
"That's why it's vital that we find out exactly where his home is, or at least get as close as possible to it.
"This is a beautiful healthy bird. While he was weak and in need when he came to us, he's now strong and restless and so clearly doesn't need me anymore. He wants to go home and I'd love to help him get there."
However, just hours before the story went to print, Julie was delighted to inform us the gentleman had been found and Tawny would be released back into his territory.
"The story was also aired on Channel Seven on Monday night and the gentleman's mother saw it, so we're very happy with that outcome," Julie said yesterday. "It's still a really important message to get out there though that the details of animals rescue are so vital to its survival."
The one big clue in the mystery was the cage that contained the tawny when he was handed in to Acacia. It was a welcome donation to a group crying out for more enclosures to house the growing numbers of birds needing care since Cyclone Marcia. "All we knew of this good Samaritan is he lives in Yeppoon, rescued a weakened tawny from the ground in his backyard last week, owned this cage and was described as being in his 50s or 60s," Julie said.
"If we can get in touch with him or someone who knows him or recognises the cage, it may mean the difference between life and death for our feathered friend. Many have nests, homes, families, life-long partners and hunting grounds in a particular area which make it crucial to their survival that they go back where they came from."
CAN YOU HELP?
Anyone interested in volunteering their time can call the Wildlife Rockhampton rescue line on 0429 GO WILD (0429 469 453).
Go to facebook.com/wildlifeRockhampton for more info