Getting to free-fly birds is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and a daily occurrence for our flock of Red-tailed Cockatoos.
On Tuesday, during the midday QBE Free Flight Birds presentation, our Red-tails had a rude shock as a wild Peregrine Falcon flew close and scared them. All of our flock flew quickly to their trainer on stage, but Diyara in her shocked state flew in another direction.
The falcon gave up chase, but this did mean Diyara was unaccounted for. This is the risk we take, but a controlled one, and one we train for. Our team spent the rest of the day searching for Diyara, but had little luck.
As a carer it is daunting not knowing where your bird is, but we remained confident that Diyara would soon be found and reunited with the team and our other birds.
When searching for a bird we take into account many things, including wind direction, the height they were flying, known surroundings, and devise a plan to locate them as quickly as possible. In the event we haven’t found the bird as quickly as we’d like, we ask for community support, which came late yesterday afternoon.
Today we received a call alerting us that Diyara had potentially been found in the Bayview area. A local resident had discovered her in their backyard, and encouraged Diyara to a safe place.
Two of our team quickly went out to investigate. We couldn’t help but feel a surge of hope and excitement; these birds are our every day, and mean a lot to us.
When we arrived, we were greeted warmly and taken to Diyara. She was attracted to the sounds of some other birds on the property. Diyara was in good condition, in large part thanks to our host, and Diyara started getting excited, moving towards us the moment we were within view. To be certain, we checked her microchip ... and then we breathed a deep sigh of relief, before returning her back to the zoo safely for a quick examination by our vets.
Diyara is a very social bird, so having her back with her flock mates is brilliant. She is also back to the world she knows and will be back to free-flying any day. It is hard to put into words just how thankful we are for the community support we receive, but please know we are grateful.
Diyara’s ability to inspire our visitors to care for the natural world is incomparable. We’re so happy to have her home!
- Bird Show Keeper, Brendan Host