It’s a busy time of year at Sydney’s Taronga Wildlife Hospital. The Taronga Veterinary Team have received an influx of native wildlife requiring care, treatment and rehabilitation. One such patient is a boobook owl chick that was found on the ground in Dearin Reserve, Newport.
The little owl was in good health when it was spotted by a member of the public a few weeks ago, who then alerted a local wildlife rescue organisation. Because the owl was on its own and too young to care for and feed itself it was brought to Taronga Wildlife Hospital.
“The boobook owl is doing well in care,” says veterinary nurse Sarah Male. “It has a strong feeding response, which means it enthusiastically takes the food it’s offered. When it reaches the appropriate age, it will be released back into the wild where it was found.”
“At this time of the year, it is common for the Taronga Wildlife Hospital to receive rescued birds, especially birds of prey like owls as they can have a difficult time finding food and can get into trouble when they are out hunting,” says Libby Hall, Taronga Wildlife Hospital’s Rescue and Rehabilitation Coordinator.
“It is, however, unusual to have an owl as young as this boobook in our care. This owl is a ‘nestling’, which means it cannot fly and needs to be fed by its parents. It is more common for us to receive owls at the fledgling stage – they are like teenagers and are always getting into trouble!”