Owlet-nightjar chicks saved from Hollisdale fires

Owlet-nightjar chicks saved from Hollisdale fires

The Owlet-nightjar chicks pictured were rescued from a smouldering log in the November 2019 Hollisdale fires in the Pappinbarra Valley west of Wauchope. Both chicks were showing effects from smoke inhalation. There was no sign of the parent Nightjars leaving no alternative but to bring them into FAWNA care; sadly we didn’t manage to get the smaller one through but the remaining chick quickly learned in the initial stages that food came on the end of forceps. As chicks do, the remaining Owlet-nightjar quickly progressed and started to watch for movement of its prey, learning it had to be actively catching its food to survive.

Pappinbarra friend of FAWNA, Trevor, constructed an Owlet- nightjar nest box from recycled hardwood timber which went with the young bird to the Pappinbarra Valley once some habitat had restored and it was safe to be released under the watchful eyes of caring locals.

FAWNA is grateful for the Wildlife Heroes Bushfire Emergency grants program that assisted us to help our volunteer rescuers and rehabilitators with animal medications and food, fuel costs and personal protection equipment. These volunteers worked tirelessly and devotedly over the many months that unrelenting bush fires ravaged their communities and put their own lives and properties at risk.

The devastation to wildlife populations is unlike any known in our living memories. Every animal saved and returned to the wild is a bonus and brings us one step closer to restoring wildlife populations. We know it will never be to the same habitat that was there before the fires, and we know huge efforts will be needed as we learn to deal with the consequences to our wildlife, and us, of changing forest types.

Karen Ledger, Andrew and Meredith Ryan
Wildlife Group