Considerations for Release of Birds
The philosophy of Fauna Rescue is to return as many of the rescued animals, birds and reptiles back into the wild as possible. In order to do this several factors have to be considered.
After spending so much time and effort in caring for creatures, it is certainly not our desire to just let them go and send them to their death. The birds cannot be released if there are insufficient supplies of water and foods.
The creature must be able to recognise and eat the normal foods which it is likely to encounter when released. To this end we quite often release in a location where it can be support fed.
For example, we have many cases where honeyeaters have been hand raised, released at the carer's home and the birds regularly call by to top up with the foods specially left out for them.. In many of these situations the released birds have joined up with the local birds of the same species and successfully bred as well.
Consideration must be given to the appropriate location to make the release. For example by releasing a large Australian magpie where there is no population of magpies may completely upset the local ecology. The magpies have been seen stealing baby birds from nests, wrecking nests, and disrupting the whole environment.
Even though the location is correct you must consider the time of the year as to when it is OK to release. Some birds will not survive if they are not accepted by the resident population.
What time of the day should it be released. Will it have time to work out its bearings and settle down for the night. Is the creature nocturnal or diurnal?
Some birds are migratory and they can really only be released when others are around the district. It is little point releasing a sandpiper when the majority of them are across the other side of the world at the time of release.
If a bird is too tame to release, then it should be safely retained or euthanased. This does occur from time to time and many factors need to be considered.
Will this bird (whatever species) land on anybody because it is too tame?? What if it was a hawk or an owl. Imagine the effect of claws holding onto an unsuspecting person when hanging out the washing!
Birds that are too tame are sometimes used as display animals