Sections of the the Australian coastline are currently littered with the bodies of dead or dying seabirds as the annual migration of shearwaters continues.
Each year the creatures, also known as mutton birds, travel from the colder regions of the northern hemisphere from as far as Siberia and Alaska to more southern parts of Australia to nest.
The flight is a long and arduous journey and only the fittest survive. Ocean conditions along the flight path have a direct effect on the health and stamina of the birds on arrival and every year there are thousands washed ashore on our beaches.
This year shearwaters have had to contend with severe storm conditions across Asia and possibly a larger number than usual are showing up on the shoreline, or in more condensed numbers. These birds have died from sheer exhaustion.
Bird lovers can rest assured that, though it is sad to see so many distressed and dying animals, this is a natural, annual phenomenon.
Generally shearwaters who wash ashore will not survive, even when taken into care.
Beach walkers are asked to not make their suffering any worse by allowing their dogs to harass the creatures.
Some shearwaters have been banded for research purposes. Members of the public are ask to report any dead banded shearwaters to the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Phone 6627 0200 for more information.