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Flight of the Fledglings

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shearwater fledgling This young Shearwater was born on Coffs Harbour's, Mutton Bird Island back in November and now he and thousands like him are ready to take flight, following their parents on their annual migration to SE Asia. 

If all goes well, he will take off in the late evening and follow the moon. 

Sadly the lights of Coffs Harbour can look like the moon too and send them off course. Once a young shearwater like this comes to the ground on land he is unable to take-off again. Hundreds die every year in and around the Coffs Harbour Jetty.

WIRES mid north coast volunteers coordinate this mass rescue every year at this time. If you are in the Coffs region and find a grounded bird please help by either taking them to a drop point or by calling WIRES.


If you see a grounded Shearwater, you can help. 


  • Approach quietly from behind
  • Encircle the body and wings gently with a towel
  • Place in a cardboard box, in a quiet location, out of the sun
  • Do NOT give food or water
  • Take to one of the designated drop off point or call WIRES

Designated drop-off points are: 


  • NPWS Coffs Coast Office at 32 Marina Drive
  • The Deep Sea Fishing Club
  • The Fisherman's Co-op 
  • The Galley Cafe in the marina
  • The Yacht Club