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Free as a bird

Thursday May 26, 2011

Yesterday I was asked to photograph the release of a feisty young White Bellied Sea Eagle in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, just off Bruny Island.

Craig Webb runs the Raptor and Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania which is dedicated to looking after injured Tasmanian Wildlife, with a special emphasis on the mighty Raptors, such as the White Bellied Sea Eagle (which he released yesterday) and the Wedge Tailed Eagle. Unfortunately these birds are endangered by human development in rural areas, and can be adversely affected by development, land clearing, and in some cases are even quite deliberately shot at.

We boarded one of Rob Pennicott’s cruise boats at Kettering and set off on a beautifully calm and blue morning for the release just off Bruny. As well as running a hugely successful Eco-Tourism cruise business, Rob is very well known as a champion of wildlife conservation issues.

Craig and his volunteers at the Raptor Refuge are dedicated to looking after not just the raptors, but other Tasmanian wildlife too, and it was great to be asked to be a part of the day. The Mercury ran the story with one of my pics today, and here are a few more shots from the day. Thanks very much to my good mate Rob Gubiani who put Craig in touch with me.

Link to the Mercury article.

Raptor Refuge Sea Eagle release, Bruny Island

Craig with the young eagle, holding on to those talons very carefully!

Raptor Refuge Sea Eagle release, Bruny Island

The young eagle spreads his wings, ready for release.

Raptor Refuge Sea Eagle release, Bruny Island

Craig with the Eagle, just prior to release

Raptor Refuge Sea Eagle release, Bruny Island

1-2-3-fly!

Raptor Refuge Sea Eagle release, Bruny Island

The young eagle is free to make a new home in the picturesque D’Entrecasteaux Channel

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