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July 16, 2024

Byron council staff rescue injured seabird

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Byron Shire Council worker James with an injured gannet PIC supplied

Byron Shire Council staff say two rangers carrying out beach patrols helped rescue an injured seabird last week.

The workers, referred to only as James and Sarah in a recent media release from the council, were patrolling Broken Head beach early Tuesday morning when walkers hailed them down.

The walkers pointed out a bird in obvious distress in the shore break, prompting James to jump in and help it.

The bird was an adult gannet.

‘It was obviously scared and I was hesitant of its large beak,’ James reported, ‘but aside from a few nips I managed to get one arm around it, and another around its beak and we got to shore’.

James said he was wetter than the gannet in the end.

‘While the water temperature was quite nice it was pretty cool on the beach, especially with wet boots,’ he said.

Bird expected to recover soon

Sarah is said to have found a towel in the council workers’ ute, allowing the pair to wrap the bird and take it to the Byron Wildlife Hospital where staff x-rayed and treated the animal.

The vet reported a swollen joint, treatable with some antibiotics.

James said the bird would hopefully make a good recovery and be released soon.

‘Thanks to the concerned people on the beach for pointing out the bird to us because it was not well and may not have lasted long in the condition it was in,’ he said.

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  1. Thats a juvenile Australasian Gannet.

    Adults have a buff yellow colouring around the head, juveniles the mottled colouring seen above.

    Nice scramble to rescue it.


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