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.

Roadie.

Update on Teal’c the black faced cuckoo shrike

Teal’c has been growing and developing rapidly from the fluffy little eating machine that first arrived at our house several months ago. He is now almost fully feathered and is getting the characteristic black, Lone Ranger-ish mask of his species. He has been outside in his aviary both day and night for a week or so now (as opposed to just in the day time) and today we decided to upgrade him to the flight pen for short flights. The ‘flight pen’ is actually just a closed off section of the chook pen with perches added for the purpose. It won’t be long before he is outside, free during the day and sleeping in the aviary at night.

He looks Lone Ranger-ish doesn’t he.

Roadie the butcher bird (at the top of the photo) isn’t too pleased to see a competitor for food. He will be a problem once Teal’c is out for the day, but with some training he will hopefully come to tolerate the company.

Teal’c enjoying the sun.

On the ground you can see newspapers and cardboard boxes; we throw all our paper into the chook pens and they turn it into valuable compost for us. This pen is in the process of composting.

This is Teal’c three weeks ago in his aviary, begging for food.

He has grown up a lot in the last few weeks.

What is happening with your animals at the moment?

local insects and animals- Teal’c, the Black-faced cuckoo shrike

This week a local family bought us a baby bird; he had fallen or flown from a high nest and was being menaced by their dog. If he had been fully feathered we would have advised them to leave him in a high tree to be reclaimed by his (no doubt worried) parents. However, he is not yet fully feathered and has made no attempt to fly in the three days he has been here.

Meet Teal’c; the Black-faced cuckoo shrike

Teal’c is a Black-face cuckoo shrike , who are not cuckoos or shrikes. They are omnivorous birds, although they mostly eat insects. They live in bush country, suburban garden and farm land.
This little boy (we think), is currently in a cage through the day and in a heated box at night. He is being fed on balls of insectivore mix and meal worms along with any stinging flies, beetles and worms we can find. He is fed ‘on demand’; as his cage is in the house, we can hear him call us for food. He is a delightful little boy who will eventually grow up and join the local populations that frequent the bush around our house.