Thousands of muttonbirds (short tailed shearwaters) have washed up on Far North Coast Beaches overnight.  Reports of dead and dying birds have come from Kingscliff to Evans Head.

Australian Seabird Rescue advises that due to the number and distribution of the birds across the North Coast, it is unable to respond to individual calls for assistance with muttonbirds at this time.

Anybody that has already collected a live muttonbird is asked to bring the bird to ASR in Ballina or provide care at home (keep birds in a warm, dark, quiet spot).  Most birds are likely to die within 24 hours.

ASR spokesman Keith Williams said: “This season’s muttonbird migration from Siberia and Alaska to southern Australia has been particularly affected by storms in the South China Sea.

“Although the number of birds is distressingly high, this is largely a natural event and apart from removing birds from the beach, there is little that can be done

“I would also like to apologise to the many callers to the ASR rescue hotline that became overwhelmed with the volume of calls last night and that we have not been able to get back in touch with.”