A Gannet's Tale

Species: Australasian Gannet "Morus Serrator". Also known as Takapu
Date Captured: 29 August 1995
Location Captured: On the bank of the Hutt Estuary, Port Road, Seaview, opposite Adios Marine. Lying on the bank head tucked under wing. Saw at 07:30am when returned at 1:20pm was in same position. 
Person Reporting: Viv Hextall
Band Number: None
Admission Weight: 1600g
Release Weight: 1700g
Sex: Unknown
Rehab Unit No: 44 "Everest"
Description: Large size, white wings with black trailing edges. Crown and nape pastel yellow. Primaries and secondaries and central tail feathers whit.. Bill and bare skin of face bluish white. Feet dark brown with vivid light greens running down to toes. Eyes ringed by blue. 
Condition/Injury: Extreme lethargy, gross parasites, severely underweight. 

29/8/95 13:30 Approached bird. No indication that it had heard or seen me. Lying prone on the bank with head under wing. When picked up no resistance to being caught. Only a quack. Very passive when placed in a box. Placed in the garage in a run as the weather was extremely bad. Went straight to sleep - no protest made about being moved. No flapping. Lay down on a flat perch. Fresh water left voluntarily. 200 grms Hoki and Kahawai fillets left voluntarily. 1/2 whole Gar fish left voluntarily. 

17:30 Weighed 1600 grms. Dosed with 4cc Ivomec. Given 1 titralac and glucose capsule, rescue remedy and arnica. and 3.0 mls of cod liver oil. Force fed 1 Garfish, 2 small sprats and 2 pilchards (200 grms fish) Swallowed when placed partially down throat with no resistance. Faeces normal. Bird went straight back to sleep after feeding. No resistance to being handled or fed. 

30/8/95 07:30 Fed 200 grms pilchards (4) 1 Mazun tablet. Went straight back to sleep. Bird appears to be depressed. Has been put outside in a run as the weather has improved. 

11:15 Lifted head when Ineke came to see Dixie the Little Blue Penguin. was very quiet and went straight back to sleep. No sign of depression evident. has done some preening and stretching of wings. 

15:15 Ate 3 pilchards voluntarily when held out above his head. Rescue Remedy and Arnica placed inside fish. 

17:15 Ate 2 pilchards. Has continued to sleep nearly all day - only puts head up occasionally to look around. 

31/8/95 06:30 Refused food. Looks well - no sign of depression. Jumped up on seat of own accord. Given a gentle shower under the hose. Preened stretched and went back to sleep. 

09:30 Still refusing food. Left one pilchard voluntarily on seat. 

13:00 Voluntary pilchard not eaten but took a fresh one by hand. 

17:30 Ate 3 pilchards. Still very sleepy. Was down in yard but hopped back onto seat when finished dinner and went back to sleep. 

1/9/95 06:30 Woke up and ate 1 very large Mackerel with Rescue Remedy Arnica and Cod Liver Oil. Literally gobbled it down. This is the most interest and action that we have seen from this bird. Quacked following the meal - guess it was thank you. Went back to sleep. Moved co-operatively for cleaning. Faeces copies and appear normal. 

08:30 Not hungry refused offering of fish 

11:45 Ineke - Preening and interest as walked by the cage. 

12:30 Ate 2 pilchards and went back to sleep. 

18:00 Refused food. Have put a shelter up as the wind is bad. Has made an attempt at backing partially into it for shelter. Sleeping standing up rather than squatting so must be feeling stronger. 

2/9/95 08:15 Ate 3 whole Mackerel in cod liver oil with enthusiasm - straight down the hatch. Lots of preening and stretching. Seems really bright and alert this morning. Standing rather than squatting looking around t with active interest. Mites still apparent in gap on back where beak sits when resting. Spending a lot of time preening and nipping at this area. 09:45am Has spent last 40 minutes solid preening. Still standing actively looking around. Starting to worry back area. 

10:30 Front wall of yard removed so if he wants to go he is able. Very alert - other gannets circling constantly overhead. Ate 1 Mackerel with great enthusiasm 

12:10 Ate 1 Mackerel in Cod Liver Oil 

15:10 Put out on sea wall to sea if he wanted to go. Sat for about 5 minutes becoming oriented with new situation and then soared off in to the sky across the penguin sanctuary rocks and alighted onto the sea. 

15:30 Beach checked to ensure that he had not drifted in. 

17:30 Beach checked to ensure that he had not drifted in. 

18:00 Gannet soaring in circles overhead around and around - perhaps the farewell thankyou from Everest. 


Last updated: August 18, 1996.

This page is maintained by Luke McCrohon.

Copyright © 1996 - Charlie Lear
Wellington, New Zealand