Seabird Rescue

Members Night KRM Branch – 20th July 2020

The theme for our July general meeting was a Members’ Night, with two members’ presentations. First up was Barbara Manson. Barbara is also a member of the Seabird Rescue Group and she shared with the meeting images of seabirds that had been rescued back in May and required extensive rehabilitation before they could be released back into the wild.

A bird sitting on top of a bed

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Lesser Noddies Photo: Barbara Mason

The first images were of Lesser Noddies that were cared for by Barbara’s daughter. There were 30 Lesser Noddies found alive between Geraldton and Albany, but only 18 survived rehab and were returned to Pelsart Island at the Abrolhos Islands after 6 weeks in care. They were blown down the coast on that major double storm event in May, with many others found dead on beaches as far south as Augusta. It is very unusual to get the Lesser Noddies this far south. Barbara explained that initially the birds required intensive care, keeping them warm, hydrated, tube-feeding them four times a day and giving them antifungal medication until they were well enough to feed themselves with small fish.

The next images were of a Southern Giant Petrel that Barbara cared for herself, giving up her garage for several weeks to house the large bird. When found the Petrel was very weak and around a half of its typical weight of 4kg. It was fed a range of foods, including chicken, given regular baths etc. until it had regained the lost weight and was strong enough to be released. Barbara was given the privilege of accompanying Claire Greenwell on a Perth Boat School boat when the bird was released and showed us some photos taken by Claire during the release. Those photographs and a video of the Lesser Noddies self-feeding can be found on the Seabird Rescue Group Facebook page.

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Barbara also showed a photograph of a Southern Fulmar that was rehabilitated by another volunteer carer until being strong enough to be sent to Albany for release into the Southern Ocean.

The audience thanked Barbara for sharing the photographs and congratulated all concerned in the rescue and treatment of these beautiful birds.

The next presenter was Colin Prickett who showed a series of photos of birds (mainly wetland or shorebirds), various types of fungi, orchids, spiders and lizards that he had found while visiting local Reserves over the previous few months.

Colin Prickett