Many of you may be unaware but this time of the year is known to all the staff at Bonorong as ‘Shearwater season’.
The Shearwaters surprised us this year as they have been a little behind schedule but since late last week we have had 23 come in to our care, which understandably has been keeping us very busy!
Short-tailed Shearwaters (also known as Mutton Birds) are a remarkable little seabird and at this time of the year they are preparing for their annual migration to the Arctic region. These birds (that weigh a mere 500g) will fly over 15,000 km to get to their destination and after a few months of feeding on rich foods they will make the return flight home (yep another casual 15,000km!!) They return back to some parts of mainland Australia and Tassie to breed.
You might be asking why are they coming into care then? Well what happens is the fledgling chicks are usually the ones that end up in our care as they are taking off for the first time. A lot of them get a little off course and can crash land or some haven’t managed to get enough food before the big journey and are simply underweight. Both cases are usually dehydrated and need short term care to get them back on track and then released so that they can get on their way!
If you do find a Shearwater over the next couple of weeks then please call us as soon as possible so that we can get the bird re-hydrated and in to our Seabird Rehabilitation Enclosure. Bonorong’s 24 hour wildlife rescue hotline is 6268 1184.