A lucky escape for injured buzzard
Six months in to volunteering with the trust, I'm finding it's not just the animals that constantly surprise me, but many of the humans as well, for the care and concern they extend to the wildlife around them.
While we were carrying out the routine jobs, such as cleaning and replenishing the swans’ food buckets, Una, my fellow volunteer, said she had seen a worrying sight as she’d been driving north on the A1 to get to the Rollo Centre that morning.
Just after the East Ord roundabout, she had seen a large bird struggling and flapping at the side of the road.
She thought it was a buzzard, but couldn’t be sure, and she couldn’t stop as she was expected at the centre.
Now that I had arrived, she was anxious to get out and collect the bird.
Every minute counted as the bird could have been hit by a passing vehicle at any time.
But at that moment, a lady walked in holding a large bird in her arms.
“That’ll be the buzzard,” I said – and it was.
Joanne, a Berwick local, had also passed the bird in trouble at the roadside and had stopped.
She had somehow managed to pick it up, and had put it in her car to bring in to us.
She said: “It didn’t peck me or attack me at all, it just let me take hold of it and carry it to the car.”
Una put the buzzard into a cage and recorded the ‘admission’ to await Kay’s arrival.
Kay turned out to be late in because she’d been looking for a struggling buzzard on the A1 after someone had phoned in about it.
Of course, because of Joanne’s kindness, it hadn’t been there.
The trust encourages people to bring in many smaller birds and animals themselves, if it’s safe to do so, as we don’t have the resources to collect every injured or distressed animal.
However, Kay would advise against members of the public attempting to rescue birds of prey themselves.
“The talons of birds like owls and buzzards are incredibly strong and they could use them if they feel under threat and frightened,” she said.
In rescue cases such as this, Kay recommends phoning the Rollo Centre number and, wherever possible, an experienced volunteer will come out properly equipped with protective thick gauntlets and a holding cage in the car.
Meanwhile, the beautiful female buzzard that had probably been dazed, rather than calm when Joanne picked her up, looked as if she’d had a glancing blow from a passing vehicle.
She had one eye shut and one talon curled round oddly, but after a couple of hours both eyes were open and her legs looked much more steady.
Kay thought that with a little bit of food and a couple of days’ rest she would be ready to fly again.
Sure enough, she was released fit and healthy a few days later, and was none the worse for her ordeal on the busy A1.