I never knew how affectionate galahs are to their young. I told you the other day about the fledgling Fred rescued (whom the boys have named Ritchie, but as the sex of a galah is not apparent until they are two, it could be a girl...Bitchie??). To get on...Fred has been putting Ritchie out for the parents to feed and today, when Fred's mum, Sylvia, came to visit, we sat on the patio with our coffee and watched these birds.
The parents and another sibling were sitting up in the big tipuana tree, calling to Ritchie, encouraging him to fly up. This seems to be a regular attempt throughout the time he's out there. Then they fly down...all three. Mum feeds Ritchie and Father and Sibling stay close as well. Occasionally the others will fly back up into the tree or onto the fence and call Ritchie, trying to encourage him to fly. They'll then fly down and have a family discussion about what could possibly be holding Ritchie up from flying. This goes on for quite some time interspersed with feed sessions. Fred has also put a feeder of seed out for the other family members, so they'll have some of that then try the encouraging process again.
However, today was really special. Mum and Dad were on either side of Ritchie and they groomed him from head to toe, going over each feather meticulously. This grooming session lasted for about half-an-hour, I suppose. We were absolutely fascinated by this process. Obviously this little galah is very special to them, probably because he's not flying.
Fred keeps the baby inside at night because he'd be a lovely meal for a predator of some sort...cats, foxes, dogs, even an owl may think he was a tasty morsel and of course, during the day, we have to worry about kookaburras and crows.
Poor little Ritchie, he's not had a very good start to life, but between Fred and his parents, he's doing okay at present. We're just wondering if he's ever going to be able to fly at all. If not, we may have the parents here for always, which would be lovely. It's great seeing galahs on the back lawn.
So that's the update on the galahs for the moment. I'll keep you posted as to what's happening in the future with Ritchie. I'll also try and get some photos.