Storms blow in birds
Storms wreaking havoc around the lower North Island have blown seabirds inland to areas they are not typically seen, including many spotted by Porirua residents on Mana Esplanade last week.
‘‘Storms are bringing in dozens and dozens of seabirds inland,’’ Conservation Department biodiversity programme manager Peter Simpson said last week.
With wild weather expected to continue, DOC is asking members of the public to help with the recovery effort.
‘‘If people are keen to help, the best thing they can do for these birds is to put them in a box and return them to the water’s edge as soon as they can,’’ Mr Simpson said.
He said there was no need to intervene in any other way, including feeding or heating the birds, as that was likely to put the bird under more stress.
It is thought many of the birds will be younger birds, fledged last spring, which are inexperienced and not used to navigating stronger winds.
The majority of the birds DOC is getting calls about are smaller common seabirds such as prions and petrels, which are numerous around coastal New Zealand and spend the majority of their time at sea.
Mr Simpson noted that this was a phenomenon that happened during strong storms, but usually occurred away from the public eye out at sea.
‘‘They must be some pretty strong winds to bring these birds ashore.’’
For birds with obvious injuries DOC is asking people to call their hotline, 0800 362 468.