Nigel casually asked one night if I’d seen the Weka up the top of the island hobbling about with something attached to its leg. No! I hadn’t..
The next morning on my walk I looked about but saw nothing. Nigel left for the neighbouring island for parts he needed and after he left, I spotted a limping Weka out the front of our unit. And sure enough when I got close, the Weka had fishing line wrapped around its foot. \/
I fed it and when Nigel arrived back he was greeted by me – and a limping Weka on the beach.
The Weka seemed quite happy to hang around us so we found the fishing net and while I threw food at the Weka, Nigel swooped down with the net– easy! But the Weka jumped straight out of the net… and then wouldn’t come close to me and the net again.
I ran after the Weka in frustration brandishing the net, but that just scared it even more and it disappeared under our unit.
Nigel: Just relax, give it time and let it come back to you.
Me: I haven’t got where I am today by being patient and letting things come back to me.
In the evening I’m relieved to discover the Weka is hiding in the reception area doorway – so it hasn’t run away completely.
Back from my walk the next morning and Nigel is impatiently waiting for me. There’s a Weka inside our unit.
I round the Weka up in the net – and as I march it out the front as Nigel wants it out – I realise IT’S THE WEKA WITH FISHING LINE TANGLED AROUND ITS FOOT.
A typical surreal island moment – how did the Weka we wanted to catch – find its way inside waiting to be captured??
Nigel holds the top of the net so it can’t escape again and I grab my scissors still at the ready from the day before, and shaking with nerves and excitement I gingerly hold the Weka’s foot and start to cut through the line tangled about its foot.
While the Weka squirms I successfully cut through all the line. The last two strands were incredibly tight, but I can still slip the scissors underneath.
We let the Weka go – and I’m rapt that we’ve helped the bird and incredulous that he came to us in the end to free him from the line.
I expected the Weka to run away all healed – but he limped away – and kept on limping. \/
His left foot is still very swollen a week later, but is healing, he still limps when walking and hops on his good leg when running. He’s missing a claw and there’s a huge indent where the line was tight around his foot.
Eventually he stops limping and runs and walks normally.
I’ve sought him out to feed him and he’s learning to hang out on our deck for food.
Out in the open, he’s very timid – if I throw him food the other birds (gulls, seagulls, mynahs and other Wekas) swoop in and he runs away.
Sometimes he’ll sit on the lawn out the front, or in the garden – we’ve never ever seen a Weka ‘sit’ in plain sight before, they’re always on their feet skulking about. \/
Often he’ll play ‘statue’ with his sore foot tucked beneath him – and the other birds will ignore him; it’s as though he’s invisible, and they don’t chase him away.
We’re growing fond of him – because he’s recognisable, because he’s hurt and because he’s bit of a character. I love how he stands on the deck looking in our glass sliding doors just watching us. \/
So, another disabled bird to add to the menagerie and keep life interesting.