Finding Bones Egret
We (me and my border collie) had been wandering down the Vernon Lagoons for absolute yonks researching and photographing, when we spotted, annoyingly, a plastic bag away in the distance. Why people plonk their rubbish out in such a gorgeous place was what was going through my mind at the time, but then I just got the feeling it was actually something else. On approach the plastic bag took on a reality, it was actually a little heron, possibly injured. Then my border collie spotted shotgun cartridges, and of course it was May, duck shooting season, so there was every chance it had been caught in the crossfire. Since we already had the delightfulness of wading through a ton of freezing water we decided the best approach was the round-up type toward land not out in to the stuff that cut your feet and calves off. We had a long walk home, and it was very late in the afternoon. We needed our feet etc., it's not easy strolling back to the truck on your knees! We got back to the truck and in to my sweater we placed the little heron (see pics). Back home we popped the wrapped up heron on to the lounge suite, while I ran about organising a large box, figuring out the food situation and also heating. The little bird did not move, it seemed to know we were trying to help it out.
Getting hold of some fishy cat food we made up a warm gruel, so it was hand feeding in the first instance, being careful not to overfeed a bird that has been starving is quite crucial. This bird did not need my sweater it needed a ton of loo paper! My goodness when it pooped it really blew everything out the back door! By 10 pm we decided to call it a night, although I got up many times just to check on it.
It survived! Yay. We made a visit to the vet and found it had a broken toe and it had been shot, but all was good for survival.
We named him/her Bones Egret, and she was one of the best rescues we have ever had. Bones was a joy to watch, and seeing her catch her own food in the garden in the form of mice and worms, was pretty darn special. But one thing was sure, we almost dug over the whole backyard at this time, hunting worms for one very eager and never-ending empty-stomached bird.
After many weeks one day Bones just took to the wing. We hope she had a pleasant flight back to Australia, because that's what little cattle egrets do, they fly between countries, at breeding times.
We hope your flight was a smooth one Bones.
Posted: Tuesday 15 February 2022