A shearwater being prepared for release at Fingal Headland
A shearwater being prepared for release at Fingal Headland

Wildlife carers plead for help saving exhausted seabirds

TWEED Valley Wildlife Carers are appealing for beachgoers to look out for exhausted seabirds that are currently on a long migration.

Dozens of tired and injured shearwaters have been rescued from beaches stretching from Fingal to Pottsville in the past week.

In the last six days alone, 35 birds were rescued.

Experienced carer Mary Grant was looking after five on Thursday, left from 11 birds which had been checked by Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and returned to her for foster caring.

She has released six so far.

 

A shearwater in care with Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers.
A shearwater in care with Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers.

"You've got to try and get their weight up quickly," Ms Grant said.

"We want to give them a second chance, rather than let them die on the beach.

"They can be rehabilitated if we have the carers to do it."

Ms Grant said the birds were new fledglings heading north where there is more food at this time of the year.

"Some of them are very hungry and they may have struck inclement weather," she said.

"They go north for our winter to breeding colonies."

Ms Grant has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for 16 years and said the shearwater rescues take place at this time every year, and again in September when the birds return.

 

Community members watch on as shearwaters prepare for flight
Community members watch on as shearwaters prepare for flight

Anyone who finds an exhausted or injured bird on the beach is asked to phone Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers on 0266724789.

If the bird is at risk from predators or other threats, wrap it in a towel, put it in a box and keep it in a quiet, dark place.

But be careful, shearwaters are known to bite.