After more than 4 weeks, our Australian Pied Oystercatcher was released on Friday and is now flying free on Stockton Beach. The story appeared in this Saturday’s Newcastle Herald with plenty of great pictures capturing the event. It is fantastic that the herald posted the pictures showing the gruesome injuries from the fishing lure (one of which appeared in the print article too), it’s exactly the sort of images we need the public to see.
Encouragingly, the bird started eating within 5-10 minutes of being released! You can’t ask for a better outcome.
The zoo staff did an amazing job bringing this bird back from certain death. It was a touch-and-go situation and Libby, the Wildlife Hospital manager, told me that every day they feared he would be dead. Thankfully, the bumble foot problem he was starting to develop in captivity was relatively minor and won’t cause him any issues back in the wild. Our VSAs deserve equal praise having kept a close eye on this bird since the problem arose. If it weren’t for their passion for the wildlife of Stockton Beach and concern for the survival of this bird, who is part of the small breeding population on the beach that the VSAs monitor religiously, he would not have been captured and taken into care.