Birding UK and Ireland Forum  

Go Back   Birding UK and Ireland Forum > Ask a Question > Emergency Bird Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 23-10-12, 04:59 PM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Default Manx Shearwater help

Hi there,
5 weeks ago we found a bird on the road. After research I'm 99% sure is a Manx shearwater. Nothing wrong with her, she is in a good form but she cannot fly. I made several attemps to release her, I even brought her few times to the beach, and altough she can impresively literary run on the water, each time she tried to fly she fell on her head. I think she is just to young to fly, so I really don't undertsand how come she ended up on the town street. No chance there are Manx borrows around here, my house is 10 miles from the sea.
As I said, I have her since 5 weeks , I force feed her fish ( she won't eat anything by herself), she is practising flying around the house, she looks quite lively.
Any idea what to do, where to release her? I'm afraid that if I just left her somewhere she'll be killed in 1/2 hour ( cats, crows, dogs).
On the other hand, I read that they migrate to S America in the winter and altough I would like to, I cannot release her there
I live in Co Kerry, Ireland.

I'll post a photo soon.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 23-10-12, 10:33 PM
Tony F's Avatar
Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Lancs
Posts: 1,579
Default

Can't really be much help here I'm afraid. If there's a bird rescue centre anywhere nearby, I'd talk to them, or perhaps the RSPB.

As regards releasing, I'd think you would have to release the bird onto the sea. Shearwaters are notorious for their inability to take off from a "standing start", something that makes them very vulnerable when breeding. They need downslopes, and updraughts of wind to achieve lift-off. Many young seabirds take to the water before they can fly, so perhaps this bird is still at that stage?

By the way - I think you've done brilliantly so far, and good luck with whatever course of action you eventually come to.

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 24-10-12, 09:53 AM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks Tony,
Any idea when exactly these guys migrate?
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 24-10-12, 09:30 PM
Tony F's Avatar
Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Lancs
Posts: 1,579
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vice8ie View Post
Thanks Tony,
Any idea when exactly these guys migrate?
No, sorry, but you might get some help here: Home

Hope this helps, if only to reassure you when you do send the bird on its way...

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 24-10-12, 10:19 PM
Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Norfolk, UK
Posts: 304
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vice8ie View Post
Hi there,
5 weeks ago we found a bird on the road... I think she is just to young to fly, so I really don't undertsand how come she ended up on the town street. No chance there are Manx borrows around here, my house is 10 miles from the sea.
Assuming there really are no nest burrows there then it's hard to imagine how it could have got there other than flying, in which case it can't be too young to fly. I think it would be quite late for a bird to be that young in any case, even 5 weeks ago.

Most likely that it was either blown inland in a storm or became disoriented (e.g. in fog, but iit can happen for no apparent reason) and then landed in the street either because it mistook it for a river or it was simply too knackered to carry on flying. I'm not sure how easily a Shearwater would take off from land - as Tony says they normally take off from water where they can get momentum as they flap along the surface. Grebes are the same - when Grebes land on roads they can't take off from there. It's quite common for grebes to mistake roads for rivers, especially wet roads. I suspect other birds do it just as much but most of them just take off again when they realise it's not a river - as Grebes can't we find them. My guess is that shearwaters are the same but we don't see it happen as often because they normally don't come inland.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vice8ie View Post
I'll post a photo soon.
Would be good to see this asap and confirm the species. If it proved to be something else we might end up giving you the wrong advice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by vice8ie View Post
Any idea when exactly these guys migrate?
Here in Norfolk they don't breed so the only birds we see are migrants. The majority are seen any time between August and October (but not exceptional outside of this period) and they seem to peak in September to early October. I don't know off-hand when they normally vacate their breeding grounds but I'd be surprised if there would be many left in their burrows as late as mid September which I presume is when you picked it up.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 25-10-12, 02:42 PM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Default

This is the bird, if more picture are needed to identify let me know
Attached Thumbnails
manx-shearwater-help-rafael.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 25-10-12, 02:50 PM
Hatchling Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Default

I will take her again to the see at the weekend, I hope she can take off, anyone knows if they can migrate by themselves, or she will freeze to death?
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 25-10-12, 03:01 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 2,628
Blog Entries: 13
Send a message via Skype™ to aquila 1
Default

Hi Tony, first off may I say that to get the bird to this stage has been remarkable on your part, they are not easy birds to feed for a start, I once got several little Auks handed in to our rescue center in one night, which had landed in the middle of a road, we think that with the rd been wet from the air it must have looked like water, we are 60 miles from the sea, have you got a sea life center or a sea life rescue center near you, as I feel it really should be checked before release. please let us know how you go on, if you just let i go onto the sea, it may just perish, and all your good work wasted. regards mac
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 28-10-12, 11:06 PM
Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Norfolk, UK
Posts: 304
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vice8ie View Post
This is the bird, if more picture are needed to identify let me know
The photo certainly does look like Manx Shearwater as you thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vice8ie View Post
I will take her again to the see at the weekend, I hope she can take off, anyone knows if they can migrate by themselves, or she will freeze to death?
They are normally capable of migrating by themselves. If it is healthy and was stranded simply because it had accidentally landed on a road then it should be fine. I suppose the lack of flying over 5 weeks might mean its muscles are weak (I'm guessing) so it might not go far straight away, but that won't get any better by holding on to it for longer.

Taking it to a rescue centre as Tony and Mac suggest will certainly be worth a try if you want specialist vetinary help. I must admit that personally I take a more pragmatic approach to these things - if it's not going to survive being released now then it probably won't survive in the wild after a spell in a rescue centre. A high mortality rate is normal and natural in any wild bird population and although I think it's perfectly reasonable for us to want to help any individual we find in trouble I'm not sure that it's a good use of resources to go to too much effort, especially if the individual has no realistic chance of survival in the wild. But each to their own - I know a lot of people get satisfaction out of "rescuing" birds.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT. The time now is 04:17 AM.