• Peg McDonald

Australian kestrel chick, words of advice.

This little Australian kestrel came in around Christmas time and it has taken me a little while to be able to share his story.

The aim of sharing the post is, as always, not to be critical of the 24/7 dedicated and committed sheer hard slog most carers put into rehabilitating towards release.

It is simply so that what he went through will not be in vain, and to once again try and get a very important message out.

My IC paramedic mate Dave told me many years ago that human studies show that when we have a fresh break in a bone every single movement to that break adds another week to repair time, and can potentially make a break, in humans, lead to permanent disability. Not to mention the pain.

So please always remember we are not vets and we certainly do not have x ray vision !!!!!

In this little guy's case he had two fractures, and after some weeks with a well meaning carer it was just too late to help him. Birds show us problems in so many ways eg can’t pull food when they should be able to, are not fledging when they should, and we really need to listen to them..

By all means have a quick look for compound fractures especially if you see blood, but manipulating bones from side to side and running your fingers up and down the bones can be so distressing, painful and often pointless.

He could have been saved with prompt appropriate vet attention, but it just wasn't to be,so let's remember the lessons he passes to us, and next time you are tempted to palpate bird bones please remember this little face.

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Higher Ground Raptor Centre is an Australian bird of prey rehabilitation, release and education facility conceived, built and managed by licensed carer Peggy McDonald CF

We are now forming a new not-for-profit company to further grow our work in raptor care, rehabilitation and conservation called Higher Ground Raptor Centre Ltd ABN 78 644 738 769. We are still in the process of seeking all our registrations. In the meantime, please continue to donate to support us on our donate page through WRSC.


In 2017 Peggy became a Churchill Fellowship recipient "to advance and exchange our knowledge of Australian raptor rehabilitation and release techniques". Since then, Peggy has travelled to the USA, Canada, Alaska, Abu Dhabi and South Africa and is currently writing her report - watch this space!

Higher Ground Raptor Centre relies entirely on the good grace and generosity of donations and sponsorship to keep the facility running.



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For all the comings and goings of Raptor rehab at Higher Ground Raptor Centre you can go to: