Baby bird survives four days stuck behind wheel arch of car

SAFE AND WELL: This juvenile tawny frogmouth survived spending four days stuck in a gap between the bumper of a car and its wheel arch. The owner of the car, a Casino man who couldn t avoid hitting the bird after it flew in front of his vehicle, found it while cleaning the vehicle.
SAFE AND WELL: This juvenile tawny frogmouth survived spending four days stuck in a gap between the bumper of a car and its wheel arch. The owner of the car, a Casino man who couldn t avoid hitting the bird after it flew in front of his vehicle, found it while cleaning the vehicle. Contributed

THE miraculous story of a sulphur-crested cockatoo surviving an arduous highway trip wedged between a car's bull bar and grille, has been outdone by a juvenile tawny frogmouth that survived four days stuck behind the wheel arch of a car.

In a week of survival stories our feathered friends have proved themselves ardent battlers.

On both occasions the birds were hit by cars travelling at speed and given up for dead, only to reveal their relatively-unscathed selves to the vehicle occupants later.

Vet Mike Fitzgerald, in his weekly column for The Weekend Star, told the story of a family travelling from Gunnedah to Alstonville, who drove through a flock of cockatoos feeding on the side of the road.

On arrival they found a bird who only suffered a bruised wing and an injury to its beak, which was repaired with superglue.

The bird spent six hours "wedged between a frigid New England Hwy - hurtling past at 100kmh - and a roaring engine and hot radiator. These birds are tough", wrote Mr Fitzgerald in Saturday's Vetspeak.

A Casino man couldn't avoid the young bird after it flew in front of his car, and was very upset and thinking the worst, according to WIRES bird co-ordinator Melanie Barsony. .

There was "quite a thump and the man thought the bird got squashed", she said.

Four days later he heard noises from under the car as he was cleaning it and discovered the trapped frogmouth.

The bird suffered bruising and dehydration but was otherwise fine.

After 10 days of care it was released into the wild on Monday night.

"It is an amazing story of survival of our incredible wildlife," Ms Barsony said.

Topics:  birds editors picks wildlife wires northern rivers

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