Life in a galvanised hollow log

Submitted by Webmaster on Wed, 26/10/2005 - 12:08

Apparently even parrots find such modern structural designs appealing. This fact was revealed itself a few evenings ago, when I heard a strange continuous hissing sound. Recognising the sound of a baby bird, I began looking for the source and noticed that he sound appeared to be coming from the base of a metal street light. Knowing that birds sometimes fall down chimneys and air vents, I decided to save the little bugger and removed the inspection plate from the pole to look inside.What I saw in the dim light of my mobile phone was one very healthy rainbow lorikeet clinging to the wires running up the pole. A closer look revealed two fat chicks on the ground at the base of the pole. Birds grow very quickly and within only tens days to two weeks, the chicks will be fully grown. I was a little concerned how the chicks might get out of the nest as the only way out is to climb up the wires to a hole at the top of the pole 10 m up. The chicks have also grown up in complete darkness and I hope that their vision develops normally. Some animals including cats must be able to see things whilst they are very small to enable the visual circuitry of their brains to develop. If they are kept in the dark, their eyes will work normally but they will not be able to see due to undeveloped brains. The daily climbing and chewing of the parents was also taking its toll on the wiring and most of the insulation had been stripped from some of the wires, so the pole is rapidly becoming a dangerous environment. I am currently debating what to do with the chicks The photos were taken the next day and show both parents and both chicks. I have contacted the manager of the street light and will see if the holes at the tops of the poles can be sealed after the chicks fledge. The pole will also have to be rewired as in its present state with stripped wires it is potentially unsafe and was not working (due to stipped wiring?) when I found it.It is really important to avoid creating holes that can trap animals or harbour pest such as rats. Deep holes such as toilet breather pipes, bore holes and wells are amazingly effective wildlife traps. I have even seen several dead kangaroos in a small lid-less oil recycling tank that was 1 m high – they jumped over the side, got stuck and died). Holes are such effective animal traps that professional zoologist use pit-fall traps (buried buckets) as their primary means of catching small animals. Please make an effort to cover holes where ever possible as they invariably catch something.A happy family (Left) Base of the pole where the nest is; (Centre) The lorikeets would get in and out of the pole via a hole at the top of the pole; (Right) insulation stripped from wiring by climbing lorikeets.

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