Animal Rescue – Critically Injured Curlew In Hospital
Good news: the critically injured Bush Stone Curlew is now in intensive care, in hospital at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Everything is being done help him survive and resume a quality life so he can be reunited with his mate – Curlew’s mate for life.
One week ago we saw one of our wild Curlew birds with a fish hook in his mouth, trailing 18 inches of fishing line with hook at the end of it. ‘She’ (my human mum Michele), didn’t have her rescue net with her so she couldn’t do anything. Curlew birds mate for life so what happens to one Curlew affects the other for about 20 years.
Each day for the past week ‘She’ has looked for the bird and his mate but sadly, she had no luck finding them. She spoke to the greens-keepers on the golf course to make sure everyone was on alert to find this injured bird.
A phone call came in from a greens-keeper that a Curlew had been spotted with a fish hook in it’s mouth. ‘She’ flew into action, grabbing her camera, phone, leather gloves, net and crate. She found the bird but knew she’d only have one chance to capture him so she rang for help from large bird expert “Rowley”, from Wildbird Rescues. He’s the best in the business when it comes to difficult bird rescues.
Capturing The Curlew
Curlew’s are tall birds and quite strong, with a large wing-span. ‘She’ had to watch the Curlew for almost 2 hours, while waiting for Rowley to arrive; he has a fair distance to travel. He arrived with his long-handled net, ready for action.
‘She’ acted as a distraction while Rowley snuck up behind the bird and within moments the bird was trapped under Rowley’s net. “She’ was able to capture a lot of it in rapid fire photos with her camera.
As we were loading the Curlew into ‘Her’ car, another young bird was handed to us, a very young Crested Pigeon who need to also go to hospital, to go to a Carer, to be raised – he appeared to have fallen out of the nest too soon.
The bird had horrific injuries! A fish hook was embedded through his tongue and the other hook, on the end of the 18 inches of fishing line had hooked into the Curlew’s knee, on his leg. He could not fly. He could not eat. He could not drink.
In severe pain, he was captured by hooks in his tongue and his knee, and only 18 inches of line in-between. The pain must have been horrendous.
We cut the line so he could at least move his head and leg without ripping the other end even more. His tongue was already half-torn off.
We notified the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital vets to be on stand-by for the critically injured Curlew, who ‘She’ was bringing in. Driving as fast as she could, the hour’s journey seemed to take forever. The Curlew screamed on the top of his voice for most of the trip, while the little baby Pigeon lay quietly.
Arriving at the hospital the Curlew was taken straight through to surgery where half his tongue had to be amputated and the hook embedded into his knee was removed. Unfortunately his knee is infected, which may cause serious issues in his fight to have a good quality life.
For now, the Curlew is taking things one day at a time and he’ll be in hospital as long as needed, then he’ll be transferred to a carer until he’s strong and healthy enough to make it on his own again. If he goes downhill, he will be humanely euthanised, but that will only be a last resort.
We are looking forward to receiving the phone call one day, asking us to collect him and reunite him with his mate. That will be a great day!
Thank you for reading,
Pepi and his mum ( Michele Brown.)
P.S: Some Misc ‘Bush Stone Curlew’ Info
Curlews are famous for their eerie wailing night screams that sounds like ‘wer-loo’ – but incredibly loud in the darkness of night. If you don’t know what they are, they sound scary. Being nocturnal, Curlews are’t very keen on flying during the day but they do fly at night. In daylight if they feel threatened by a predator they freeze like a statue and camouflage, becoming very difficult to see because they blend into brush ground cover of leaves and sticks. When they lay down on the ground they are next to impossible to see at all.
Curlews stand 60 cm (24 inches tall), with big googly eyes and they love to dance. When they’re in the mood for romance, Bush Stone-curlews perform an amazing courtship dance, standing with their wings outstretched, their tail upright and their neck forward, stamping their feet up and down, like a soldier marking time.
Its only when they stand upright and spread their wings that you get to see how magnificent and how big they really are. Fingers crossed our injured Curlew can be reunited with his mate.