Monday, February 16, 2015

a sad story with a happy ending

* in no way is this post craft related, but just a snippet of our family life in the past few weeks. craft posts will be coming up.

Meet Aussie, a pink and grey galah.

He joined our family about 4 years ago, after we saw him trying to cross our highway. He could not really fly. He always crash landed after maybe getting a little bit of lift off the ground. After taking him past our local vet they diagnosed him with a old break in his one wing that had healed wrong. They were happy to take him off our hands and give him to a wildlife rescue group. We bought a large cage that afternoon and Aussie became part of the family zoo.

He was young, very young still. Have you heard these birds in the wild especially the young ones? They make a rather interesting noise - especially when they want food.

We were able to handle him and he loved nothing more then a treat of sunflower seeds. He grew up and did some silly acrobats in his cage. He learnt all the kids names. He whistled for the dogs, and told our big dog to get "on your mat" at her meal times. He always asked "Jordan, what you doing?" He called Dad, just liked the kids did with a really drawn out "daaaa-aad". He loved nothing more then a "scratch scratch" behind his neck or a waddle around the front or back yard, chasing the kids toes.
And if we went outside without acknowledging him, we would soon hear "hello Aussie, hello Aussie". Oh yeah, hi Aussie. During our renovations, he even managed to give a few tradesman the odd scare with his talking - when they thought no one was around, he would start up.

He had our rottweiler under control. She avoided Aussie after one close encounter ended up with a peck on her nose. Those beaks have some strength to shred a rubber tyre.

We got a weiro friend and a bigger aviary for them. But he never liked when the weiro would fly in the aviary. He would get a fright and fall off his perch to the ground and make his way back up the tree stump. He really didn't have any control of that damaged wing.

This brings us to the last week of school holidays.

It was quiet time after lunch, but there was this noise. With my oldest we went to investigate the odd noise. It was from the patio. Our rottweiler was pawing at the aviary. We checked the birds and that's when we came across the horrible scene of Aussie on the ground next to a big black dugite snake. Ekk! A snake, here on our property, in suburbia. I think not. 14 years we have lived here and not seen one. The elderly lady next door has lived there for the past 47 years and not seen one either. Just us.

Hubby came home in an instant and managed to locate the snake. Here is his head.

Eek right!? This photo still gives me the goose bumps. He was in a hole created by mice behind the sleeper wall. He kept peering out at hubby and poking his tongue out. He used my zoom lens on this one. He wasn't that close to it. (I was behind the glass sliding door. No way was I going out there to see it again.)

The reptile people came but he slithered away into the rock wall which is full of field mice thanks to the next door neighbours fig tree. There was devastation among the kids and maybe us adults too. I know, only a bird right, but this guy had character. It was a good chance to talk to the kids about the way nature works. As sad as it was.

And where is the snake now? We don't know. It took the kids and myself a while to be comfortable to go outside again. The dogs slept in the laundry for some nights. The weiro got a new home inside by the back door and the aviary was moved and won't be used again.

Even though this isn't a fairy tale, there is a happy ending:

This past week we have welcomed a young, 12 week old, hand reared and spoon fed, and already talking, pink and grey galah. Junior or Charlie. We are still debating this one out during family meal times.

Hopefully it heals the hole where Aussie was! He/she* will have the cage we first bought for Aussie, mounted high up on the patio wall away from any future snakes.  And the weiro? He thinks Aussie is back and could not get close enough.

Sorry, really a post for bird lovers. :) But I am sure he will be popping up in posts now and again.

*sex of bird won't be known for sometime till the eye changes colour. Neutral name needed. :)



  1. Nice ending Lee! We have lost a few birds to dugites as well as the dog being bitten twice! Eek! xx

    1. really tash? in your suburbia backyard too? the reptile people did say that dugites are living among us and quite happily live there with out being noticed for years. just a little close for my liking.