NZ Kingfisher With Injured Wing
We were so delighted to have a kingfisher come to us needing some help. The bird had an injured wing, but it wasn't broken. I have seen fences snare kingfishers before, so something similar may have caught this one, which stopped the bird being able to fly. We popped the bird into a large box, gave it warmth, darkness and quiet, while we went about to source some food.
Kingfishers have a large varied diet which can include: worms, beetles, spiders, crickets and cicadas. They also eat crabs, lizards, freshwater crayfish, tadpoles, mice and small birds. But mainly they eat what there is a lot of for the season. You normally see them fence sitting then they dive at movement. Luckily this kingfisher came to us at a time when there were a heap of crickets about. We needed 50+ crickets a day, for the bird to gain weight and strength.
The kingfisher spent many days on the lower branches. We would take the bird into the internal part of the aviary for feeding so it could still jump onto prey like the hunters kingfishers are, without hurting the injured wing. Over quite a period of time the kingfisher showed signs making it up to the higher branches but only jumping on food at the lower levels. As the bird became stronger the small jumps became small dives slowly increasing to a place where we knew it was time for release. That was a very special day.
PS An interesting fact about kingfishers is that they build nests by flying, beak first, straight into dirt/clay banks, until a hole is big enough for them to sit and fit in. if it doesn't fit or feel right they will start all over someplace else. Bugger me. then, how is it that their beaks don't end up with impact zig zags in them then?
Posted: Saturday 29 May 2021