Red Footed Booby Found on St Leonards Beach

Red Footed Booby at WRAS Casualty Centre
Red Footed Booby at WRAS Casualty Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Sussex WRAS rescuers Andrew Loftus and Charlotte Humphreys had a surprise when they turned up to rescue a seabird on St Leonards Beach to find it was a Red Footed Booby.

Rescuers were called out mid afternoon on Sunday 4th September.  The amazingly beautiful bird has been washed ashore but has poor feather condition.  The birds which are normally found in the Galapagos islands is obviously a long way from home.

Rescuers managed to catch the bird easily on the beach and brought it back to WRAS's Casualty Centre at Whitesmith for initial care.  The bird is expected to be transported to RSPCA Mallydams Wood at Hastings first thing Monday morning for more specialist care.

Red Footed Booby at WRAS Casualty Centre
Red Footed Booby at WRAS Casualty Centre
Red Footed Booby at WRAS Casualty Centre
Red Footed Booby at WRAS Casualty Centre
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6 thoughts on “Red Footed Booby Found on St Leonards Beach

  1. Richard Baatsen

    Hi. This is a great bird. I hope that the bird makes a full recovery. If it is to be released back into the wild in the UK, I would like to point out that there would be a large amount of interest in witnessing this event and that it would be a great opportunity to raise funds for the wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service and RSPCA. With a little thought and stage management both the birds welfare and the birders desire to see it release could be accommodated. Please consider this

    Reply
    1. East Sussex WRAS

      Post author

      It is unlikely to be released in the UK. If releasing a bird in a public area like the beach/coast we would have no rights to charge people being public open space. It would also not be in the birds best interest to have crowds of people present at the release too. Animal welfare has to be paramount when rehabilitating and releasing back to the wild, so should never be done with crowds of people watching.

      Reply
    1. East Sussex WRAS

      Post author

      The bird has been passed to RSPCA Mallydams Wood as they have more specialist facilities for seabirds than us. If it survives, it is likely it will be returned back to its home range.

      Reply
  2. David

    Should be released at the spot it was found at. This would be the most natural outcome!

    Keeping it secret & missing the chance to secure funds and publicity would be a real shame to all concerned.

    Much more would be raised from a public release, then a few pounds in a bucket!!

    The bird is being cared for by human hand & a release with a roped off area, would cause no stress or harm to the bird.

    Your find birders are very respectful & very generous.

    Just a thought........

    Reply
    1. East Sussex WRAS

      Post author

      We would not be allowed to rope off a public area and have no authority to do so. Wildlife are generally frightened of people so crowds of people whether 10 metres away or further would be an extra stress on the birds release especially if the bird wanted to land but was frightened by the crowds. It is standard practice when releasing any wild animal or bird to keep the number of people present to a minimum to keep stress levels down. Working in a wildlife hospital it is clear to see how stressed wildlife becomes around humans and it is important during rehabilitation and release to keep this to an absolute minimum. The birds welfare has to be paramount so the bird will be returned to the most suitable location for its release. It is common practice for migratory bird and mammals left behind after migration or even those transported on boats or blown off course to be returned to their normal home range. The birds condition was poor when found, so releasing the bird where found would not be right for the bird, and most likely to result in the bird going down hill again. The previous Booby seen in Europe died after being left. The RSPCA who are now looking after the bird will release it where it has the best chance of survive which is most likely abroad and not here in the UK where it is clear, from the messages we are receiving, that twitcher want it released just so they can tick a box to say they have seen it in the wild. It surprises me how many people are offering us money IF we release it in a roped off area - why not make a donation regardless to help with the birds rehabilitation rather then to pay to see it so people can tick a box.

      Reply

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