'Wreck' of birds swept west by Antarctic gales
Tue, 12 Jul 2011 6:07p.m.
By Simon Shepherd
The gale force winds that have swept up from Antarctica have had a devastating effect on wildlife.
Scores of broad-billed prions, a small seabird, have been swept onto Western coastlines exhausted and injured.
Staff at the Massey Wildlife Health Centre have been inundated with 125 prions, with another 60 on their way.
Veterinarian Kerry Morgan is treating the birds. She says the plan is to give them food and fluids and warm them up so that they can be released into the wild when the stormy conditions pass.
The prions are petrified, so the team works quickly, giving them a fish milkshake before letting them rest.
The birds migrate north from the Chatham and Stewart Islands.
They normally stay out at sea, but strong westerlies have forced them on shore - a phenomenon known as "a sea bird wreck".
Such a phenomenon is apparently not uncommon, with experts saying “wrecks” occur every 10 years or so.
The birds are healthy, they just need time to recover and the winds to ease before they can go back to sea.
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17/07/2011 10:29:48 p.m.
There were at least 100 of these dead birds washed up on Piha today.
13/07/2011 11:06:24 a.m.
Josie B wrote:
John - contact the Massey Wildlife Centre in Palmy - 0800 MASSEY
13/07/2011 10:19:42 a.m.
Phil B wrote:
John E, bring it up to reception at the Vets at Massey University. It'll get the best care there.
13/07/2011 8:33:19 a.m.
I found one of these cute wee birds (dead unfortunately) this morning in Hamilton. That's a long way to be blown off course...
13/07/2011 7:44:14 a.m.
Last night around 11pm, there was a scuffle going on outside in the garden. When opened the door to see what the noise was, there was one of there Broad Billed Prions trying to escape from a cat. Was quickly rescued by my son, and is safe and sound! This Sea Bird some how got to the Middle of Waikanae? They migrate from the Chatham & Stewart Islands! Wow.....Going to phone Massey Wildlife Health Centre as they have rescuse Heaps of these sea birds....They are Sooooo Cute ;)
13/07/2011 6:43:06 a.m.
John E wrote:
We found one this morning at about 5am, in Palmerston North, being circled by cats, given it some shelter and a bed for the night. What are we ment to do with it now? Does anyone know who to contact?
12/07/2011 11:14:37 p.m.
Aaron E wrote:
I just rescued one of these birds from a cat in my Garden in the middle of Waikanae about 11pm. How did it get all the way out here? It doesn't appear to be harmed, just nervous. I've given it a bed for the night and will have to sort out where it needs to go tomorrow.
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