Just yesterday my friends and I thought we’d take advantage of the beautiful sunny weather Brisbane has been shining on us and we headed to the park for a BBQ lunch. After stuffing ourselves with yummy salads and fresh fruits, we picked a grassy spot under a huge gum tree and lay down to relax. As it turned out, we weren’t going to do much relaxing. There in the tree, 20 metres above us, were two magpies. One sat watching helplessly as it’s friend flapped viciously, trying to free itself from a branch. It appeared caught in something, hanging upside down and terribly frightened.
I instantly grabbed for my phone, searching for a bird rescue organisation, eventually reaching Sally from Pelican and Seabird Rescue Inc. (On a side note, if you’re wondering, Magpies are not a seabird but this organisation actually rescues all native Australian birds).
Twenty minutes later I found myself standing on the street flagging down the fire brigade. Soon after Sally arrived and then the RSPCA. We watched as the police were contacted to close off the road, all the while the crowd around the tree grew bigger and bigger.
The fire brigade lifted one of the RSPCA rescuers up into the tree, cutting the helpless bird free and bringing her safely to the ground. Of course, the crowd cheered with delight! Well, except for one lady who decided to moan about the fire brigade being used for ‘such a silly purpose’. Don’t worry, I gave her a piece of my mind.
Channel 7 even decided it was news-worthy.
On the magpie’s leg was a fishing hook, fishing line and sinker. The hook had pierced the top of her claw and the line had begun to cut the circulation off in her foot. Despite this, all limbs and wings were ok and the rescuers gave her a 70-80% chance of being released again within the next two days.
While this lucky magpie escaped relatively unharmed, this is a perfect example of just how damaging discarded fishing equipment and other rubbish can be to our bird and sea life. It should be a reminder to us all to clean up after ourselves.
I have to say how impressed I was at how seriously Sally, the RSPCA and the fire brigade took the situation and how quickly and efficiently they responded to the call. Hats off to you guys!
After the crowd had cleared away, Sally thanked me for contacting her. She told me they always name the birds they rescue and they had decided to name this little bird ‘Alana’. Awwww my heart melted. It’s almost a fairy-tale ending.
And that’s the story of how I had a bird named after me.
Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend.