The Brown Booby pictured in Greystones yesterday before it was taken into care by the National Wildlife Service. Picture: Andres Poveda
A seabird which was sighted for the first time in Ireland at Greystones beach two days ago has been transported to Kildare for urgent veterinary care.
The Brown Booby's usual habitat is in the tropical waters of the West Indies rather than the cold Irish sea, but it was sighted by keen birdwatchers in Wicklow earlier this week.
Birdwatch Ireland initially said that the plan was to leave the uninjured bird to its own devices. However, after concerns were raised about its health yesterday, it was captured and taken into care by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The expert wildlife unit at Kildare Animal Foundation, the charity outside Kildare town which provides care to injured rescue animals, has stepped in to assist in the bird's care.
The bird was admitted to Mi Night Vets in Kildare town yesterday evening for emergency treatment, after the Kildare organisation offered its help and expertise.
The Brown Booby being cared for at Kildare Animal Foundation. Picture: KAF via Facebook
According to a statement from KAF this afternoon, "on examination, the bird was found to be exhausted and suffering from malnutrition.
"We believe the bird to be over 500 grams lighter than it should be. It received fluids and some high energy food overnight before being collected and placed in our ICU here at Kildare Animal Foundation this morning. Here the bird will receive 24-hour care. We are at the moment cautiously optimistic and will take it take day by day as the situation can change at any time.
This exotic bird has been through a lot on its journey and its time in Ireland already."
Kildare Animal Foundation's wildlife unit, which was founded by local expert Dan Donoher, has years of experience caring for a wide variety of wildlife from dormice to hedgehogs to swans and more.
"Although this may be the first Brown Booby to be admitted into our care, we have years of experience in rehabbing different species of sea bird and many others. Our volunteers are some of the most highly skilled and trained in the country and will do all that is needed, but yet we remain realistic in our approach to a difficult case," said KAF, adding that it is working closely with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Kildare Animal Foundation is a voluntary organisation which is currently experiencing a funding shortage due to the Covid-19 crisis. To donate, please call 045 522929 or visit www.animalfoundation.ie.
Jason Monaghan of the National Parks and Wildlife Service pictured rescuing the bird in Greystones yesterday. Picture: Andres Poveda