At three o’clock one afternoon this week my husband Rob called me outside. He looked very upset, and was holding a crimson rosella in an old towel.
It had flown into one of the windows. We live in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, and the birdlife is prolific, especially in our garden. There are lots of native plants for the nectar feeders and we provide bowls of fresh water for drinking and bathing. I must confess that Rob does more than his share of scrubbing bowls and refilling them.
I found a cardboard box in the garage and we gently laid the patient inside. Fortunately its wings and legs seemed okay. It was breathing, but completely unconscious. Rob thought it looked pretty old, which didn’t bode well for a positive outcome. We put the box in the shade, hoping against hope that our sweet rosella would recover and fly off. We kept watch from a distance to ensure it was safe from predators. There is not much more you can do for an injury such as this.
A concussed bird will sleep for a long period, to give the brain time to heal. I guess it’s a bit like a person being put into an induced coma.
It was more than two hours before it was well enough to sit up, then eventually to stand. Such a relief. Now it’s not a good idea to give an injured bird anything to eat or drink, even as it starts to recover. Hard not to of course, because the desire to help is so strong. All you can do is leave it be and trust in the healing power of mother nature. The less stress and human intervention the better.
To our enormous relief, another hour later the rosella hopped out of the box and flew up to the railing. This was followed by yet another long period of rest.
It was now seven o’clock and nearly dark. We hated leaving it perched there, still so unwell and vulnerable. Rob considered picking it up and putting it in the shelter of the shrubbery overnight, but in the end we decided that handling the poor thing again would just cause more stress.
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL – A ROSELLA RESTORED
And then suddenly, off it flew; first to a grevillea bush, then up to a roost in a tree. In the final glimmer of light Rob watched it take flight to parts unknown. Oh joy! Success…..four and a half hours after the collision. It had been such a profound experience to watch the bird’s recovery. For a while we feared we would be taking it to the village vet to be put to sleep.
Mind you, we did feel very guilty. After all it was our fault, and not the first time our windows have caused an accident. There are solutions, which we will really have to consider. You can put decals on the windows that create those dangerously clear reflections. Putting up a wind chime would help, too.
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