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    ON THEIR WAY: From left, Lea Crammond, Gerang Gerung Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue Centre volunteer Stacy Whitehorse and Robin Webb return two orphaned tawny frogmouth birds to the wild. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
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    A young tawny frogmouth at Burnt Creek.

Reward for rehabilitation centre as tawny frogmouths released

Two orphaned tawny frogmouth birds were re-released into the wild last week.

Gerang Gerung Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue Centre volunteer Stacy Whitehorse said she had been raising the birds since November. 

“They started off in a small cage and now they have been in the flight aviary where they have been getting their wings and muscles strengthened. I know they are very good flyers by now,” she said.

Ms Whitehorse said it was a bittersweet moment when animals were returned to their habitat. 

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“It’s great to be a wildlife rehabilitator, to get the little guys home and see them onto their next chapter,” she said.

“It was an absolute pleasure to look after these two, and a privilege.

“On the downside, young birds in their first year have a torrid time. 

“There’s a lot of dangers out there, whether they are hand-raised or parent-raised. So, let’s hope the monsters, which is what I affectionately call them, manage that first year, stick around and stay out of trouble.”

Robin Webb, a hobby photographer, said he and others had visited the native bird species for some time when he realised they had been orphaned.

“We’ve been coming down and taking photos of them for quite a while, keeping an eye on them. And then it was just one night that we saw all the parents get killed on the road,” he said. 

Lea Crammond said she returned with her husband Peter the following morning to confirm the birds had been left on their own, and she contacted the rehabilitation centre. 

“The next morning there was still no parent, and so that’s when we got in touch with Wildlife,” she said.

“We got on a ladder, got them out of their nest and Stacy has been raising them. 

“We are very grateful that she’s done that because they would have perished – it was a really hot day the day we rescued them.”

Prior to the birds’ re-release, Kevin Bolwell presented Ms Whitehorse with a donation to continue the centre’s rehabilitation work, on behalf of Burnt Creek residents.

– Sean O’Connell

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