04 January 2020

59. Saving Baby in the Sink

Mum always says I should start the new year like I mean to continue. The 1st of January 2020 I saved a bird. Not just any bird, but a fledgling of the Pizza-oven bucket-bird I love. If I continue saving birds for 1% of the next 9 years and 364 days, I’ll be happy.

Already 100 degrees F by 10 am, in Australia we kicked off the decade with a heatwave. I heard a thump and checked the window. Grey feathers were stuck to it. The bird was so small I couldn’t see it at first. Sitting on a brick path too hot to touch, its beak was wide open in shock. 

Two Magpie’s and 3 Kookaburras were having a noisy custody battle over birdbath access around the corner of the house. All 5 were meat-eaters who would love tear apart a baby bird. The fledgling wasnt long out of the nest; a White-browed Scrubwren. Only semi-conscious, it's yellow rimmed eyes peered about without seeing me, but it stood tall on legs still too long for its body.

The bird was hot, thirsty and stressed out, panting in the extreme heat. Shading the bird with my hat made it flinch. I couldn’t leave it out to be Kooka food, so brought it in. With no idea where to put the wren until I settled for the kitchen sink. 

Wings, neck, back and tail were unbroken and it began to look about. 

Dripping water onto its beak helped revive ‘Scrubby’ until it was wide awake again.


 Scrubby seemed ready to fly.


 Opening the window, it looked out then hopped up. 

Not much bigger than the plug, Scrubby left a crap message in the sink.


Even so, it sat on the window sill for a few more minutes. 
Wild bird heaven for me right there.
Enjoying the moment before they fly away is the best part of birdlifesaving.

The New Years Day accident didn’t break the wren; I’m grateful for that.

If Scrubby survives all of 2020 it’s expected to live another 14 years. I wonder if he’ll be the chimney-tapping dominant male of the Scrubwren family on New Years Day 2035?  Hope so, I liked saving all 3 grams of the little guy.

 P.S. Blog post number 37. PIZZA OVEN BUCKET BIRD talks about the dominant male who is the daddy of this chick. A very angry Scrubwren who dismisses me when I am in the garden.


  1. Thanks Steve, hope you're not to cold over in the UK. We've had 2 non heatwave days so far this year.I could do with a bit of that English chill. It's a scorching summer here.