News

Shock over bird mutilations

BRAINLESS ACT: Secondary feathers close to the magpie’s body were clearly hacked with a sharp implement.
BRAINLESS ACT: Secondary feathers close to the magpie’s body were clearly hacked with a sharp implement.

WILDLIFE carers have been left horrified and angry after the discovery of magpies with clipped wings and missing tail feathers around Warwick.

Despite magpie breeding season being all but over, cruel individuals have been capturing and mutilating the protected birds in apparent attempts to prevent attacks on pedestrians and cyclists.

An upset Pascale Farrow and her daughter Amber visited the Daily News office on Thursday with a young magpie they spotted hopping around and unable to fly, other than in a low circle, near the post office.

The pair were shocked to discover that a number of the bird's secondary feathers - those closest to its body - on its right wing had been cut.

To make things worse, some of its tail feathers had clearly been ripped out, undoubtedly causing the unfortunate bird substantial pain and distress.

Had the bird not been rescued it would almost certainly have perished from starvation.

"We have heard of at least three other birds that have been found in a similar state in recent weeks in the town area," Ms Farrow said.

SAFE NOW: Pat Geraghty with the magpie, which will need to be in his care until April at least.
SAFE NOW: Pat Geraghty with the magpie, which will need to be in his care until April at least. Jeremy Sollars

Disgusted native bird specialist carer Pat Geraghty, who now has care of the injured magpie at his Warwick home, described those behind the cruel acts as "morons".

"They would need to be feeding the birds to gain their trust before they would be able to trap them," he told the Daily News.

"This is the first year we have seen magpies brought in having been treated this way in Warwick.

"The breeding season doesn't even last two months - why do people feel the need to take this action just to avoid being swooped in the park?"

The bird found this week will stay with Mr Geraghty until at least April next year and can only be released once it has moulted and grown out a new set of wing and tail feathers.

But the cruelty is made worse by the fact that even with a full set of feathers these birds cannot be returned to their original home territory as they would be driven out and most likely killed by their "former" family members.

"Magpie families are extremely territorial and they will not accept a member which has been absent for a long period," Mr Geraghty said.

"What I do is form a new group of magpies while they are in my care and then find an area - generally west along the Condamine River - where I am satisfied there are no existing magpies and release the group there."

CRUEL: The young bird’s tail feathers were ripped out.
CRUEL: The young bird’s tail feathers were ripped out.

Mr Geraghty said the worst case of mutilation of a magpie he had seen was just a fortnight ago, with the bird concerned bleeding after having had its wing feathers cut back almost to the bone.

Under recent changes to the law the maximum penalty for animal cruelty in Queensland is now a fine of $220,000 or four years in prison.

Who to call

If you have rescued an injured or abandoned native bird in Warwick call Pat Geraghty on 0467 449 148

Other native animals needing care in the region can be reported to Granite Belt Wildlife Carers on 0418 144 073

Topics:  animal cruelty, warwick, wildlife



Warwick emergency crews rush to trapped child

THERE was a brief moment of panic for a parent this afternoon.

Brazen thieves target small business

Senior Sergeant Craig Berry said the break in was a timely reminder for home and business owners to check their security measures.

POLICE are hunting for thieves who broke into the local store.

Spring brings the rise of the tick

TICKED OFF: Owners of tick infested properties have an obligation to take actions to prevent cattle tick spreading.

WHEN spring arrives, so do the ticks.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.