AN Australian pied oystercatcher that was hopelessly tangled in fishing line and lures when it was rescued last month has returned home.
The bird was released on Stockton beach yesterday after a stint of intensive recuperation at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
‘‘Stockton beach is one of only a few sites along the Hunter coast where this species breeds,’’ Worimi Conservation Lands board chairwoman Petrice Manton said.
‘‘It supports at least six resident breeding pairs and it is great to see this bird being returned.’’
Taronga wildlife hospital manager Libby Hall said catering for the bird during its rehabilitation was a challenge fit for an episode of MasterChef.
‘‘I had to open and dice fresh pipis and present them on a bed of finely filleted pilchards in what was essentially a jus of pipis,’’ Ms Hall said. ‘‘I’ve never had to do anything like that before.’’
An estimated 500 Australian pied oystercatchers are left in NSW.