Gannets are often seen diving spectacularly for bait fish off local beaches. This young one, however, was found by Jess Tout on the Crescent Head Back Beach on 14/4/15. It tried to go into the water but was not able to navigate the rough surf, and sat back down on the beach. Jess, who lives locally and is keen to get involved in native animal rescue, recognised that this is not normal behaviour for a sea bird and called FAWNA for help. Paul Martin responded to the call, and together with neighbours Booyong & Frankie Dykshorn, picked the bird up and gave it a quiet space and a feed for two days before releasing him back into the wild. “To help him gain his strength back, I fed him pilchards and squid, and I have plenty of scratches to prove it!” said Paul.
A second gannet came in from Big Hill on the same night, but was in a more serious condition, and died the following day. “It is so difficult to tell what is wrong with sea birds when we find them. Often they will have much bigger problems that aren’t obvious,” said Paul. “Fishing hooks and fishing line entanglement are common causes of sea bird injury, so if you fish, please take your line and hooks home when your finished fishing.”
If anyone finds wildlife needing help, please call FAWNA on 6581 4141.
Photos thanks to Alicia Fox Photography