GARDEN BIRDS ( BIRDS Photo © Janet MacphersonWATERFOWLGAME BIRDSPARROTS - Photo © Colin MorganGRASS FINCHES Photo by JJ Harrison (  (Courtesy of FINCHES (Photo courtesy of Photo © Janet MacphersonSPECIALISED BIRDS Photo by JJ Harrison ( ( and Raptor taken by Janet Macpherson at Featherdale © Janet Macpherson
The Joy of Keeping Birds - The Aviculutral Society of NSW (ASNSW - Home Page)
Conservation - Parramatta River Red-rump Parrot ProjectPRRRP Nest Boxes


Featherdale Wildlife Park (Sponsor of the ASNSW) Animetics - Avian DNA Testing (Sponsor of the ASNSW) Petcover - Exotic, Rare & Unusual Pet Insurance (Sponsor of the ASNSW)Laucke Mills - Black Parrot (Sponsor of the ASNSW) Bio Supplies | Live Insects | Reptile Food | Fast Delivery It's undeniable: Pets truly make the world a better place. That's why we're inspired to make A Better World For Pets™, a world where they're healthy, happy and welcome. (Sponsor of the ASNSW)

Never Say Die

(ASNSW magazine - month year)
(Printable Version - PDF file - Free Adobe Reader download)

(The Avicultural Review August 1986 Vol. 8 No. 8)

By Jack Stunnell

I once had some young Red-collared Lorikeets that were only a week and two days old in a nest.  One morning I went in and fed the parents and I didn't notice that they slipped out the aviary door.  This was in the middle of winter in July.  The door that they slipped through led to a walkway that led to a larger aviary.  I rushed in and fed the birds and didn't notice the parents go.  I went off to work.  When I returned home I was too busy to check that particular aviary.

The next morning around 10 o'clock I went in to feed them to find that there were no parents.  I found that they were locked out.  I was quite concerned about the two young ones still in the nest, so I looked in and found the stone cold and inert youngsters.  There was no movement.  They were as cold as charity and apparently dead.  I took them out and put them into the incinerator.  Then I had second thoughts and decided to take them up and put them into the hospital cage.  I had brought birds back from apparently dead before.

I was aware that Lorikeets were a slow growing bird so thought there might be some hope even though they had been alone for 24 hours.  When I checked them after they had been in the hospital cage for an hour, there was the barest flicker of movement in one.  I thought there was now a chance.  To help them I went and mixed up some glucose and water and gave them a small drink from a syringe.  After another 1/4 of an hour they were moving around quite a bit and almost sitting up.  I then mixed up some Farex (because it is a bit finer than high protein baby cereal) with some more glucose and a little bit of honey, and gave them some into their crops.  The next time I came back, they were both sitting up.  I fed them once more and then took them down and put them into their nest.  Lo and behold they grew into two healthy, happy birds with no problems whatsoever.

On another occasion, I came home from work to find a young Cardinal, about 4 days old, hanging by his neck in the fork of a tree just below his nest.  He was the youngest of a nest of three and had been thrown out - which is something they quite often do to the youngest and smallest.  He was also apparently dead.

I took him up and put him into the hospital cage and lo and behold, he stirred after a while.  He was also treated with glucose and water.  I finished up saving him and had to hand feed him.

I used to wrap him up in a sock and take him to work with me.  I would leave him in my car all shut up as it was early spring and still not too warm.  I fed him on all sorts of things.  I would give him some of the grapes I took for lunch; I would crush small pieces of apple and some mealworms that I took with me.  I had to poke the mealworms down his throat.  He also had carrot and some sultanas that he took from a pair of tweezers.  As well he took some of the mix that I use for the young parrots that I am hand rearing.  He would go to sleep in my lap each night after he had a fly around my lounge room.  When he was eventually feeding himself, I put him back into the aviary.  After about a week in the aviary, he wouldn't have anything more to do with me.  This is quite unlike parrots, because those that I have hand reared seem to remain a friend for life if you give them the slightest encouragement.

return to top