And now for an intermission in which a tiny bird hijacks my entire Sunday afternoon.
I was driving to fill up an ANU vehicle before returning it when I had to stop at a crosswalk to let a bouncing grey ball hop across the road. The bouncing grey ball turned out to be a fledgling noisy miner.
I was very impressed with the consideration the bird showed by crossing at the crosswalk, so I pulled over and got out to help it the rest of the way across. It looked like it was putting in a lot of effort. The poor thing was so hot (it was 39 degrees Celsius in Canberra) that instead of fleeing it ran immediately into the shade underneath me.
I picked it up and placed it under a nearby tree. The tree was full of irate adult noisy miners, which I figured were the family of this little one.
After filling up the vehicle I passed by the spot again, so I got out to check on the fledgling. It was almost exactly where I left it, which was unfortunate. However, it was still being fed and tended to by adult miners, which was fortunate.
I called Angus Kennedy, who is an experienced wildlife carer in the ACT. He suggested a little craft project. I'm posting this here so that if anyone finds a fledgling bird, they may also benefit from Angus's wisdom.
First, I needed to get supplies: a bucket, a hammer, a knife and some nails. I stabbed some holes in the bottom of the bucket to prevent flooding if it rains.
Then I arranged the inside of the bucket into something I supposed a fledgling bird would find comfortable.
Finally, I nailed the bucket into the side of the tree. I put it as high up as I could reach and in a spot I thought would be shady for the majority of the day.
I put the fledgling bird in the bucket and backed off to wait. I watched the adults land on the ground around the tree, searching. They eventually found the fledgling in the bucket due to its constant vocalisations, and after about ten minutes I left. Hopefully everything works out!