It's Volunteer Awareness Week and we're celebrating retiring volunteer Rosemary Tully.

Volunteer Awareness week is upon us with this year’s theme being “every minute counts”. It is therefore timely to celebrate the champions in our community, none more so than retiring volunteer of Whakatane Bird Rescue, Rosemary Tully.

Rosemary has been involved with Whakatane Bird Rescue for 20 years, caring for sick and injured native bird life. We asked her about the time volunteering.

What have been some of the Challenges?

  • Kiwi that have trap injuries through careless placing of possum traps;
  • Long term care of birds through feather loss;
  • Getting birds to eat different food than what they’re used to;
  • Handling birds with sharp beaks and sharp claws.

What have been some of the highlights?

  • Releasing birds back to the wild;
  • Going to places that the birds came from and meeting DOC offices (staff) from that area;
  • Having some of the rarer species in care.

To enable you to contribute your time, what have been some factors that have helped you to do so successfully? 

  • Having the continued support from the public and firms for the likes of food, money etc.
  • Having a good working relationship with agencies like DOC and of course the Vets, Environment Bay of Plenty and the Hospital.
  • Support from the Children’s fishing contests and fishermen.

What motivates you to do this work?
The end result of bringing birds back to health and being released. 

Looking back on the work you have done with Whakatane Bird Rescue how would you summarise your experience?
A very rewarding 20 years, meeting new people with the same outlook on life protecting our wildlife.

Rosemary will soon retire from Whakatane Bird Rescue, but will be around to encourage those continuing the Bird rescue work, remaining a part of the wildlife scene.

Mrs Tully offers words of advice to future volunteers with Whakatane Bird Rescue
“always ask for advice if you are not sure, we never know everything! Have a good relationship with your local Department of Conservation.  If they know you are keen they will give you wonderful opportunities.

“Rosemary has been invaluable in our work to rehabilitate native birds, she is a true champion for conservation efforts in our community. We would like to express our extreme gratitude for the work she has dedicated to caring for our feathery friends over the years” says Department of Conservation Ranger Hemi Barsdell.

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