Our aims when rehabilitating wild birds are to:
- Ensure the bird will be able to survive in the wild once it is released.
- Ensure that the bird is not imprinted on humans or on the wrong species, or seeks humans for food or company.
- Reduce stress and human interaction, and ensure that the bird remains as wild as possible.
Releasing a Bird Back into the Wild
The way in which a bird is released differs according to its species and the age of the bird. We release a lot of spring babies from our place, as they just hang around for some food we leave out for them until they take off. We call that a soft release.
Some seabirds, especially petrels and larger sea birds, need to take off from a height, or by boat.
All native birds are protected by law, and our DOC permit allows us to hold birds in our possession for up to 3 months. After that time they must return to the wild, fit and able to fend for themselves.
When Release is not Possible...
A lot of care is taken to achieve the best outcome for each bird that we receive. X-rays are taken at Whitianga Veterinary Clinic, and sometimes blood samples are required to make a proper diagnosis.
Vets who specialise in wild life are also often consulted over the phone or via email to assist in diagnosing the issue, or for advice on the most effective treatment.
If a decision is made that a bird will not be able to survive in the wild, euthanasia is the best option. Most native birds don't do well in long term captivity and can develop stress related diseases.
Suffering is unnecessary, and humane euthanasia is safe and quick.