When a life hung by a thread

A little White-plumed Honeyeater was flapping around in one spot in the top of the redgum in my backyard one morning. I wondered what the hell was it doing, and was it caught somehow?

Sure enough, soon a gang of rival New Holland Honeyeaters appeared to attack, it couldn’t get away, and only had two brave friends show up to defend it. Clearly it was stuck. So I threw sticks to scare the New Holland Honeyeaters away, while running around like a headless chook trying to figure a way to rescue the poor bugger, who was at least 7 meters above the ground.

12068994_10153739329758793_8078338397557091757_oI managed to rig a pruning saw on the end of a pole, got on the shed roof, and was able to hook & break off the small branch the bird was caught on, which fell to the ground. And I didn’t, which was good.

Fortunately, the bird seemed unharmed by the fall. I took it inside (twig still attached) and got out my plant dissection kit with fine scissors and needle sharp tweezers to see if I could rescue it (the bird just lay in my hand looking pathetic while I was freeing it).

A length of synthetic thread had gotten entangled in one of the bird’s claws, and then around a twig and a couple of tail feathers. I had to be careful, I didn’t want to amputate its little toes! They were completely entangled.

12087267_10153739329828793_5963577431315610363_oFinally, with just one stubborn loop of thread remaining around one toe (which you can see in the pic), the bird realised it could go, so it flew to the rafters and sat there until I opened the windows and let it out. I hope the remaining thread comes off!

Moral: even if it’s just a thread, it’s litter and you should put it in the bin.

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