Update on Teal’c the black faced cuckoo shrike; he’s flying free

As is the way with such things, Teal’c is free. It is always a little sad to release my babies into the wild to fend for themselves, but they can’t stay locked up (but safe) forever. We released Teal’c for ¬†his first outside fly a few weeks ago (and I didn’t get any footage), he came back that evening, and for the next four evenings, to sleep in his aviary. After that he stopped coming back.
I can only hope we have given him the skills to feed himself and that he has been adopted by a group of his own kind, as they tend to gather at this time of year.¬†Alternatively, he may have been taken by a predator. This is the worry we face whenever we release an animal, but it’s worth it to see them happy and healthy in their own environment, for as long as they can be.
Every time I take on a native animal to raise I face the same dilemma, if the animal becomes ‘humanised’ or friendly to us, once released they face the huge danger of assuming that all humans are friendly. I have seen people do some really cruel things to wild animals, and I don’t want to have my babies in that kind of danger. On the other hand, it is hard not to interact with them and come to love them, they become part of our family for whatever time they are with us. We are very lucky to have good neighbors here, some who know a great deal about animals and are always available for advice, and others who appreciate the wildlife here as much as we do, so we usually allow the ‘humanising’ process to happen.
If you see any friendly wildlife in your travels, please treat them well, they may be one of my babies (or someone elses).
Teal’c in his aviary

Begging for food

Our friendly pied butcher bird; Roadie has also decided to leave home. One of our neighbors has reported seeing him at her house (begging for dog biscuits) but he hasn’t come home for two weeks now. It is so quiet in the house without him singing to us at dawn and dusk. On the plus side though, all the little birds he has kept at bay are now flitting around in the yard again.


This is a short clip showing two of the birds who call our place home arguing about who owns ‘my’ wool basket. They are both from the Corvidia family; a currawong (big black one) and a butcher bird (grey scale one) and so are about as smart as the average 5 year old. We raised both of them and they have both spent considerable time in the wool basket as chicks.
All our animals (kids included) go through a ‘we don’t hit’ learning phase where we show them it isn’t acceptable to be violent in the house, that way there is a safe zone for everyone even natural enemies like these two.
You can see them both asserting their right to the basket but being too polite to fight because I am there. They sometimes roost together in the house so are not really enemies, although their species usually are. Things will probably change when they both have children (you know what that’s like).

Pew (the currawong) has left home and joined a gang of juvenile currawongs although he still spends about one day a week at home. We expect that to change when he gets a steady girlfriend and hope he doesn’t bring the grandkids home for baby sitting too often.
Roadie (the butcherbird) is hunting for himself and doesn’t need help with anything. He still sleeps inside (its Winter and the stove is warm) on a high perch and relies on us for affection (play and cuddles) but that will change in the Summer when he starts to look for a mate. Being a member of a solitary species, he won’t join a gang but will find a single girl and settle down for life.
With wild birds there is always a risk of over-humanizing (and who wants more of them) but the risk is fairly low with the corvid family, thanks to their intelligence.
The galahs on the other hand……well that’s a story for tomorrow.