Send your questions and suggestions about Bird Rescue to:
e-mail about found birds
emails about birds that you have found, please give me the area you live in. This will make it easier for me to let you know of a nearby carer.
A few things to remember for the welfare of birds in care:
- Not to stroke or pet the bird. This will remove the oils from the feathers and make it human friendly. This is not a good idea for a wild bird.
- Not to keep the bird longer than is needed. Once the bird has reached its goal weight
and is feeding, and has recovered from its injuries/sickness then it is time for release.
- Not to get the bird use to dogs or cats. This will result in the bird thinking all
cats and dogs are bird friendly —they are not. A dog that may lick and
wash a bird in a friendly manner will remove oils, this is not good for
the bird. The next dog it meets may well bite and the bird is killed.
Bird Rescue News
Good month for releasing birds
March has been a good month for releasing birds. One little
blue penguin that has been in care since last November was released
near Whale Island on the 20th. This bird was brought into bird
rescue after being found on a beach at Pikowai (near Matata). It
had cuts across both legs and back injuries. Because the penguin
had lost feathers on its back I had to wait for it to come into the
moult before new feathers would grow.
The penguin’s weight was only 545g
and this had to reach over the 1kg
before the moult began. Most adult little blue penguins moult
after the breeding season, and they have put on weight. When moulting
the penguin cannot go back to sea, as it is not waterproof so for up to
three weeks the penguin goes without food and relies on its fat
Another little blue penguin was released at West End Ohope; this
juvenile was only 350g and most at this size die. I have found
the by using slippery elm powder on birds that are down in weight and
may have internal bleeding some do pull through. This bird was
900g when released.
A native pigeon came in under weight and with wing injuries; this too
recovered and was released at Otarawairere.
Two hawks both male and with
symptoms of botulism both recovered and
after gaining weight were released.
Birds feeding on maggots from
anything that has died/dying of botulism can pick up botulism. So when a New Zealand dotterel and variable oystercatcher came in with the botulism symptoms I was extremely
worried. Both birds were found at the spit opposite the Whakatane
Heads. (Where the Whakatane River meets the sea). Also nearby
were dead mussels.
Other dead birds were in the area.
The person reporting the
oystercatcher spoke of seeing another dead New Zealand Dotterel and a
dead oystercatcher. It is very important for any dead birds to be
buried to stop the botulism spreading. Take a note of any bands
on birds and report them to the banding officer (see this website).
Both the dotterel and the
oystercatcher were released, the dotterel on
Whale Island (Moutohora) and the oystercatcher at Ohiwa Harbour.
Unfortunately another variable oystercatcher brought in from the same
Gannet chick update
The two gannet chicks brought in the beginning of February were
released on the 21st March at White Island (there were three but one
died). These chicks were found after banding operations on
White Island away from the colony. They weighed 1.1kg and 1.3kg
and had been without food for a few days. Release weight was 3.150kg
and 3.2kg. One gannet chick was brought in the day before the three and
that had a broken wing and was put down. It was found in the water and
only weighed 1.6kg. The gannet that died was 1.6kg.
It has concerned some of the
charter boat operators for many years now
that banding disturbs the gannet chicks. Chicks that have not
reached fledging weights/plumage have been found in the water after
banding and die. It would be good to have a break from banding next
year to see if the problem is the banding or a natural
occurrence. It would also be interesting to find out what benefit
it is to band birds for over 40 years, what papers have been written
and what banding returns have been sent in from these White Island
All sorts of help
Having a large number of fish eating birds creates the problem of
finding enough food for them. The gannet chicks were eating 500g
of fish per day each. The penguins too were taking up to 250g each a
I was very lucky to have the help of our fishing charter
boats who supplied fish, also Sanfords Seafood’s of Tauranga.
Sanfords gave (and have given in the past) a few boxes of fish.
It is very much appreciated. Children and fishermen also sent fish as
well as the local “Iceman”.
Edgecumbe Vets gave support when one of the gannets was sick as well as
Liza Schneider a Holistic Vet from Tauranga. I was lucky to be
able to go out with White Island Tours for the release on white Island,
Once again thanks to all involved.
At last I have a helper (well two for a short time) for the native and
endemic birds. Glennis can come and help in the mornings and Jenny maybe able to help
in the afternoons. Jenny starts a job at Hamilton Zoo in
June. I am lucky to have a couple of ladies who look after the
introduced birds and ducklings, which saves me a lot of time.
Whakatane Bird Rescue Weekend
Date: 7 & 8 August 2004
Venue: Apanui School, McAlister Street, Whakatane
8:30am Registration Tea/Coffee
9:00am Opening by? followed by introductions of speakers and attendees
9:30 – 10.30 Rosemary Tully
Birds from the freezer! A collection of birds that did not make
it, handling and crop feeding etc
10:45am Brett Gartrell
Occupational Health and Safety for wildlife rehabbers (zoonosis and
injuries) + question time
Midday Lunch taken to Rosemary’s for a look around the new Bird Rescue Room
1:00pm Claire Travers
Kiwi Care/handling/feeding/housing + question time
3:15pm Rosalie Goldsworthy
Penguins and other seabirds? Care/handling/feeding/housing
+ question time
7:00pm Dinner in the evening
9:00am Richard Norman
Oil Spills and looking after oiled birds, cleaning, etc. + question time
10:15am Dawne Morton Raptors, Care/Handling/feeding/ housing + question time
1:00pm Richard Norman... Flipper, Fluke, Fin,and Fur marine mammals + question time
2:00pm Brett Gartrell. Trying to avoid Imprinting of hand raised birds and case studies in critical care + question time
3:15pm Clare Green and Kerri Morgan talking on ? followed by Question Time Round up. Concerns of individual rescuers
- I have taken out the tea and coffee breaks.
- Awaiting confirmation on two of the speakers.
- Please email me if you wish to attend, as we will only have a limited
number of seats available.
- $80 for the weekend. Does not include...lunches, dinners or
Whakatane Bird Rescue, New Zealand