We get our fair share of exciting visitors in Booderee – the park is a biodiversity hotspot. Whether they’ve been washed ashore or seem to have lost their way, these creatures are often helped homeward by the love and dedication of volunteers.
This spectacular bird, nicknamed Andre, was noticed by a visitor at Cave Beach who thought it was an unusual species to be in the area and gave Wildlife Rescue a call. Jenny and Col Packwood, members of the Wildlife Rescue South Coast Network (formerly NANA) came out to Booderee and immediately knew this was a special bird – identifying it as a giant petrel.
Andre was taken to Jenny’s care facility where he was checked over by Lindsay Smith from Southern Ocean Seabird Study Association (SOSSA). Lindsay confirmed it was a young male, uninjured but in poor condition – and prescribed a few days of nurturing.
Andre was about a kilo underweight at 3 kg, so Jenny fed him up on mince and meat fat (as petrels eat a lot of carrion). Once he was looking perkier Jenny and Col took him out through the heads of Jervis Bay to let him go.
Because they are so big giant petrels have to be released at least a kilometre from shore to ensure uplift from ocean winds will get under their huge wingspan!
Matt, Booderee National Park
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