In the last fortnight, 14 Sooty Terns believed to be from the Lord Howe Island Breeding colonies have been admitted to our Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
Terns generally fly all the time, so their feathers aren’t waterproof like most other sea birds, so the storms had an even greater affect on them, leaving them bruised and battered away from land.
These Terns were found at Bondi, Manly, Hurstville and other inland suburbs. Finding the Terns in inland suburbs was particularly unusual as they rarely come to land, except to breed.
They normally stay out at sea for three to 10 years at a time and are only ever found inland after severe storms.
Some of these Terns are still in intensive care due to malnourishment and rough conditions during the storm. Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital Manager, Libby Hall, explained that “'Hopefully two weeks will be long enough to see these little ones strong enough to return to a healthy weight, eat fish, and fly again”.
If found, it is imperative not to feed a Sooty Tern, but rather put them in a cardboard box with a towel and bring them to the Wildlife Hospital at Taronga Zoo.