Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 14-10-2014 Contents Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 12
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Baby magpies need surrogate feeders
Queanbeyan Wildcare bird co-ordinator Maryanne Gates cares for a three-week-old magpie who fell from a
Photo: Matt Bedford
Spring is the season for lost, injured
and unwell baby birds to flock into the
hands of Queanbeyan Wildcare bird
co-ordinator Maryanne Gates.
Luckily, the birds are then farmed
out to volunteers to look after until
they recover and can be released back
into the wild.
About 600 baby and adult birds
were looked after by Queanbeyan
Wildcare last year, a figure which
didn't surprise Ms Gates.
Some volunteers care for a couple
of birds every week with the program,
including abandoned fledglings and
adults hit by cars.
Ms Gates has been involved with
the volunteer group since 2006 and
recently took up the bird co-ordinator
post. She said she started volunteering
because she loved animals, to help
wildlife in trouble, and to look after
the small birds with the hope of
releasing them back to the wild.
"A lot of people have in their mind
a picture of looking after a joey in a
pouch, this cute furry thing, maybe it
was a little bit of that," Ms Gates said.
From experience, Ms Gates knows
spring is the season when Wildcare
will get plenty of baby magpies
handed in. They will be the most
prevalent in the overall numbers,
followed by ducklings, rosellas,
gallahs and cockatoos.
"When a bird is rescued, it's handed
to the right person as some like to look
after parrots ... some can do baby
birds, and others only adult birds,'' she
"It's baby bird season coming up
any day now, any day we will start to
get the baby magpies in. They need
feeding every couple of hours ... so
we're looking for people who are
maybe retired, or who work from
home to take on this role," Ms Gates
"A lot of people talk about
kidnapping baby magpies because
people think they need rescuing and
they really don't. When they're
fledglings, they spend quite a bit of
time on the ground ... but mum and
dad are usually there watching.''
Wildcare rescue and release
wildlife in NSW only. To report
injured wildlife in NSW, phone
to a nanny state
More Australians are turning to
nannies and au pairs to mind their
children to get around long waiting
lists at childcare centres and avoid
the high cost of multiple children in
care, industry groups have said.
Census data shows the number of
in-home carers is growing, adding to
pressure on government to extend the
childcare rebate to families using
nannies and au pairs.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said
before the last election that he was in
favour of the childcare rebate being
extended to nanny services.
The Productivity Commission is
due to report at the end of the month
its recommendations on whether the
government should extend the
childcare rebate to nannies but has
already flagged its intention to refuse
the rebate to au pairs.
Census data has shown that over
the past decade a growing number of
Australians have been employed as
nannies, increasing from 5304 in
2001 to 6487 by 2011.
MISS MUDDY IS ON ITS
WAY TO THE CAPITAL
Miss Muddy Canberra is a women-
only 4-6km obstacle and mud festival
for women over 18. It's the perfect
excuse for a girls' road trip to
This untimed obstacle course is all
about women supporting women in a
fun environment. The event takes
place on Sunday, October 19, from
8am to 3pm. For more information
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