Wedge-tailed Eagle survives dunking in the Hastings River

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

This wedge-tailed eagle is on the mend and ready for release after bridge workers rescued the floundering bird from the Hastings River.

Thanks to the quick-thinking of two LendLease bridge construction workers on the Oxley Highway to Kundabung Pacific Highway upgrade, a wedge-tailed eagle has a chance of a free life again.

While working on the bridge over the Hastings River, two bridge construction workers saw a large bird floundering in the water, and their recovery protocol was put in place with a call to the foreman, then his call to environment co-ordinator, Clive Wightwick, on site.

“The intrepid rescuers went into the river and managed to wrap up the bird in a life jacket and bring it ashore where it was wrapped up further in an all-weather jacket and taken to Port Macquarie Veterinary Hospital,” said FAWNA president Meredith Ryan.

“After the vet check, FAWNA Wildlife Rescue was called, and our senior raptor rehabilitator took the wedge-tailed eagle into rehabilitation care.

“The bird seemed to be suffering from waterlogging and as it had difficulty in preening and re-oiling its feathers. It was felt to be a touch and go prospect for release, despite having a voracious appetite for an all sorts of meat-based diet.

“The run of wet weather did not help the eagle, but finally the corner was turned in its rehabilitation and FAWNA is now looking for a suitable release site near to where the bird was found.

“FAWNA had originally been called when the eagle was moping in a paddock but was unable to be found – perhaps it had already reached the river when the FAWNA volunteer first attended the scene.

“It is wonderful to see LendLease’s dedication to all fauna in the vicinity of its works projects, and more so the swift actions of two employees and all others involved to deliver the best outcomes for this bird in trouble”.

All wildlife needing assistance should be called in to FAWNA’s 24-hour wildlife rescue line 6581 4141.