Mixed results for the birds of prey

A couple of weeks ago when we were having a cup of tea with the volunteers after work was done, Kay was saying it had been a few weeks since we had a bird of prey in.

Sunday, 4th September 2016, 1:41 pm
The red tawny owl should soon be ready for release from Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust. Picture by Pat Goff.

Well, of course, during the next few days we had a buzzard and two tawny owls arrive.

Sadly, one of the tawny owls had a smashed up wing and there was nothing that could be done for it so it had to be put to sleep.

The other tawny had taken a knock on the head. It was not able to stand, but this could have been due to stress so we gave it a night of quiet, left it some food, and let it have a good rest.

The next morning the bird was standing, but had not eaten. We had to cut up its food and push it right into the bird’s crop as it was unable to swallow. It was also blind.

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The buzzard was weak and underweight, and had also had a head injury that had happened a couple of days before as the wounds were scabbing over. We cut up food and the bird took it eagerly when we put it in its beak, but it too was blind.

After head trauma birds are sometimes blind for a while, but the sight can come back. The same thing happened to Errol, our mascot tawny owl, so we continued to hand-feed both birds.

The tawny soon stated swallowing and then we realised it could see and was not just following sounds. The buzzard was showing no improvement. The vet examined it and it had detached retinas in both eyes, meaning it would not regain its sight so, sadly, it was put to sleep.

The tawny, however, very quickly improved eating for himself and wrecking his cage during the night so he is was put in the undercover aviary, where he was coming on very well.

We have now moved the tawny to the big aviary and arranged for the ringer to come before he is released. Just another week and he should be ready.

We were able to use the undercover aviary as Errol has moved into his new custom-made aviary. He took a bath as soon as he moved in and uses all the perches. Jim has done a brilliant job building it. Thank you Jim.

This year has not been a good year for hedgehogs. We have a lot of tiny hogs coming in that are not coping. It is usually much later in the autumn when we get them. We had 30 overwintering with us last year and I think it may be just as many this year.

To end this week, I must thank BARK for the invitation to join it at the Dog Show.

We got all the medicating and feeding done early at the Rollo Centre before we went off. The damp dull morning cheered up and became a lovely afternoon.

The little hedgehog we took with us was a great hit with adults, as well as children. The cards featuring Errol the owl sold well too.

The bacon rolls were delicious for lunch and the ice creams we had in the afternoon were just the thing.