His/her name is Kiri. Georgia says he's a boy with a high pitched voice. She found him yesterday afternoon out in the bare paddock where the cows have recently finished eating out the turnip crop. We quickly dismissed it being one of the more common birds we see around the place. We googled and googled but couldn't come up with an answer to what it was. Finally I remembered Mr Robert Webb, the Whangarei bird man and eventually found the website for the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre.
I sent off an email with a couple of photos and about an hour later, had a response from Mr Webb and instructions on how and what to feed it. Kiri is a skylark. We hadn't thought of skylarks. I thought it was a hawk, couldn't have been much further off the mark, could I? It has surprisingly long legs and long talons. And noisy! It cheeps constantly, the only time it has been quiet was when we carried it out into the paddock this morning hoping to see a Parent Skylark or that the baby's calls would attract one. It didn't make a peep. So does that mean it's happy when it's quiet and that it is desperately unhappy in our care - or the opposite?
It's been keeping Georgia and me entertained for hours. It's such a tiny, fluffy little thing, weighs 17 grams (about 5 ounces) and is just 7 cm (a little over 2.5 inches) long. That makes it about half grown. We learnt they leave the nest at 10 days old, but don't fly till 20 days. I figure the cows disturbed its nest and it couldn't find its way back home.
We've managed to give it a little food and it seemed really happy when we had it out hopping around the sitting room. But what the hell do I know about baby birds?