About the Author

Wendy with an adult Wedgetailed-EagleWendy Lawrence lives in Alstonville in northern New South Wales, Australia.

She has been caring for sick, injured and orphaned owls and birds of prey for many years.  She has had many adult, as well as juvenile Boobook owls, that have needed help to return to the wild.

Wendy has had a passion for wildlife for as long as she can remember, whether watching animals in the wild or helping them to return to it when they become sick or injured. For many years now the rehabilitation of owls and raptors (birds of prey) has been her main focus.  Many of these birds have been hit by road traffic, flown into power lines or barbed wire fences. Some have been poisoned, drowned in open top water tanks and a few have been shot.

Habitat destruction has led to living and dead trees being felled, thereby reducing the number of hollows for them to nest in. Storms, drought and illnesses are other reasons these birds sometimes need help.


Wendy with OspreyWedge Tail EagleWounded Wedge Tail

IMAGE 1 Juvenile Osprey. This young bird was forced out of its nest in Ballina by currawongs, and when placed back in the nest by Country Energy, flew off immediately (first flight). It was then pursued by four currawongs and obviously brought down. Luckily it was found and was brought back to me. The Osprey is now at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital where it is in an aviary with an adult female which, we hope, will teach it some of the skills needed when released.

UPDATE: After some weeks, the Osprey was collected from Currumbin and taken to Seabird Rescue in Ballina for a further few days. This was to get it used to its new surroundings, close to North Creek/the sea, so would return there to be support-fed if needed. The Osprey was banded and released early one Sunday morning. It flew strongly up North Creek and then turned and came back towards the sea and disappeared from sight. And there was wasn’t a currawong in sight.

IMAGE 2 Adult Wedgetail Eagle. A driver of a large truck saw the eagle eating a kangaroo on the road between Woodburn and Ballina. He hooted but it did not move and continued eating. The driver couldn’t stop in time and was expecting the worst. But, somehow, it rolled under the truck and came out on the other side of the road – alive but severely concussed. He rang my wildlife organisation – Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers – and rescued it before it could be hit again. It was severely concussed for a number of days but, miraculously, nothing was broken. Not even a feather. After a number of weeks, it was released.

IMAGE 3 Adult Wedgetail Eagle. This eagle was found lying on its back in a paddock near Casino. The farmer went to pick it up; it tried to fly but couldn’t. I collected the bird and took it to Alstonville Vet Clinic. No bones broken and no visible problems. So I brought it home but, despite eating well, it was not attempting to fly. I took it back to vet Mike FitzGerald for x-rays and all were clear. It was only after another ten days or so that it managed to get up on a perch (with the assistance of a leaning plank) and flew really well from then on. Quite a mystery – still is. I took it back to the farm and released it with the farmer who rescued it and the rest of his family. We watched it take off and leisurely fly straight to a large tree – obviously one it knew. The farmer saw another Wedgetail circling later – hopefully its mate.