HOMEWARD BOUND: Snowball, the tawny frog mouth chick, was returned to the nest by Steve Cubis, from Steve Cubis Tree Lopping.  BELOW: Little Snowball is pictured alongside a 50 cent coin.
HOMEWARD BOUND: Snowball, the tawny frog mouth chick, was returned to the nest by Steve Cubis, from Steve Cubis Tree Lopping.  BELOW: Little Snowball is pictured alongside a 50 cent coin. WIRES Northern Rivers

Baby’s big adventure

SNOWBALL was not much bigger than a 50 cent piece when he tumbled out of his nest during a windy evening last Tuesday.

Luckily, Lynette Evans was feeding the cows on the Numulgi property and stumbled upon the tiny ball of fluff on the ground next to a group of trees.

Ms Evans knew there was a nest of tawny-frog mouths in trees and suspected the little ball of white fluff may have been the youngest offspring.

She called WIRES and was helped by volunteer Martin Fitzgerald, who just happened to live close by.

Snowball was carefully transported to the WIRES carer's home, where the 43g nestling was looked after overnight.

As a nocturnal animal, this meant regular hydrating and feeding throughout the night.

The next morning he was returned to Ms Evans Numulgi property, but they soon discovered the nest was far too high to return the chick without a cherry picker.

Fortunately, tree lopper Steve Cubis was working nearby and offered to help return little Snowball to his nest.

"The bird was in a box and Martin and myself got in the cherry picker and we sort of had to zig-zag in between a few tree branches and we just placed the little owl in there," he said.

Mr Cubis said it wasn't the first time his cherry picker had been called in, having rescued several birds and a koala or two.

Mr Fitzgerald said little Snowball's rescue proved to be a successful team effort.

"Looking down from the basket I couldn't help but marvel at this enormous piece of machinery delivering such a tiny parcel such a small distance," he said.



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