• Peg McDonald

Bendo and Bermi

A few years back I had two White-bellied sea eagles in care, whose stories I shared previously.

On 24/10/2017 Bendo bird came in from Bendalong on the NSW south coast.

Her story was awful and her injuries horrific.She was in care for 558 days and post release was back with her mate within a few hours. Some fabulous images of her were sent to me and she has been closely followed by some Bendalong locals since release.

I was down there for a few days and had the absolute priviledge of having Bendo bird, her mate and last years youngster all come and sit above me in a tree above Flat Rock at Bendo. A mixture of overwhelming joy and sadness, as their nest tree and so very much of their territory has been destroyed in our recent fires. However they are still there roosting in the black ghosts that were once their coastal land, and I guess the ocean still is their larder.

I was so excited to see them though that I forgot to whip my phone out and take a few shots until they started to fly away. A local (human!) came down and told me how lucky I was, and the story of Bendo bird. When I told him I was her rehabber he burst into tears and hugged me.

Can you get better than that?

Well - yes you can .....

A few days later Dianne Cutting posted a lovely image and story in a new group, and the emails and messages started coming..

This is Bermi bird.

She came in from Wallaga Lake near Bermagui on 6/8/2018 and was in care for 217 days.

Bermi bird had a fractured fibia, head and internal trauma and missing feathers that required imping. When released back at Wallaga she was with her mate very quickly.

This image shows Bendo and Bermi birds in the free flight.

The next is Dianne's image.

There are always sad stories associated with rehab but for me stories like these two birds have make up for the heartbreak that we so often suffer.

Of course I can never be 100% sure that these birds are Bermi and Bendo, but the fact that their mates waited for them all that time (both birds were observed solitary for periods that equated to their time in care) and some great locals in both areas have been following them, makes me very hopeful and very happy.


Higher Ground Raptor Centre is an Australian bird of prey rehabilitation, release and education facility conceived, built and managed by licensed carer Peggy McDonald CF


It is a non-government, not-for-profit, totally volunteer community-based organisation located in the Southern Highlands of NSW.


In 2017 Peggy became a Churchill Fellowship recipient "to advance and exchange our knowledge of Australian raptor rehabilitation and release techniques". Since then, Peggy has travelled to the USA, Canada, Alaska, Abu Dhabi and South Africa and is currently writing her report - watch this space!

Higher Ground Raptor Centre relies entirely on the good grace and generosity of donations and sponsorship to keep the facility running.



For all the comings and goings of Raptor rehab at Higher Ground Raptor Centre you can go to:

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