Aussie family's surprising find in fallen tree after hearing 'muffled noise'

While seemingly unexpected, the crucial tree find is 'all too common' according to a wildlife expert.

A Victorian family made a surprising discovery in a chopped-down tree, highlighting a wider problem affecting the Australian landscape.

After hearing "muffled noises" coming from inside, a concerned father who was walking in the rural locality with his children, decided to investigate.

When taking a closer look, the family found a vulnerable nest deeply lodged inside the hollow, but couldn't get it out.

A photo of someone reaching into a chopped down tree hollow to rescue two baby lorikeets. A photo looking inside the hollow.
A family in Victoria have rescued two baby lorikeets from a chopped-down tree hollow. Source: Instagram

Thankfully they called Josh Neille, a registered wildlife carer, who documented the rescue in a now viral video this week. "We got a call from a caring legend who said the local shire had cut a tree down in the park on Friday," he said in the caption of the TikTok.

It was there that he discovered two "stressed" and "starving" baby lorikeets and took them into care.

"Got them home and they were stoked to get some food into them after days without care... so they survived the chainsaw, the fall, the cold and predators," he said. "They will be shipped off to our bird specialist tomorrow."

A photo of one of the baby lorikeets being held by Josh after being rescued from the tree hollow. A photo of both of them being fed at Josh's home in Victoria.
The family fed and housed the two lorikeets before handing them over to a bird specialist. Source: Instagram

Bird rescues from tree hollows 'all too common'

The loss of hollow-bearing trees across the Australian landscape is having a devastating impact on Australia's birdlife. Even the iconic sound of kookaburras is becoming increasingly rare around much of suburban Melbourne.

Further north in NSW, rescue groups are also noticing the problem. "Sadly, birds such as lorikeets and cockatoo fledgelings, are being rescued from tree hollows "all the time," due to "habitat loss and destruction," a WIRES spokesman told Yahoo.

"Many hollows went during the bushfires fires, and WIRES and other groups are still building nesting boxes," he added.

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WIRES said that by cutting down some trees, "councils and developers" are contributing to "habitat destruction" and decreasing "survival rates" of certain iconic bird species.

Recently in Melbourne, a US company applied for a council permit to cut down a river red gum tree next to a building it manages. Eucalyptus trees need to be 100 years old before they begin to form hollows, with this particular one containing 26 that provide homes to birds and animals.

What should you do when you see an abandoned bird?

When seeing an abandoned bird, the "best solution" is to "try and reunite them with their parents".

"Observe and wait to see at what point human intervention is needed," he said. "When there's a whole bunch of people like in that video, the parents could have been somewhere in the distance watching.

Though in a case where intervention is needed, like when an animal is at risk of "being hit by a car" or "being attacked by a predator," the WIRES spokesman recommends taking them to a local vet and leaving a note about where the animal was found.

"It's really important to always leave a note with the local vet with the exact address of where you picked it up so we as rescuers can go back and reunite it with the parent birds," he said.

With spring coming up, which is the breeding season for most birds, members of the public may also see fledgelings "falling out of trees". "They try and start to fly too young," he said.

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