No complacency with sick birds

A tawny owl was found injured in a monastery garden (which reminds me of a piece of music that was a favourite of my Dad's) at Alnmouth.

Friday, 16th September 2016, 10:47 am
A hedgehog house at Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.

The bird had a head injury and could not stand. It was also underweight.

After a check over we found that he had no other injuries.

We cut up a chick and hand-fed the bird. He was blind for a few days, but the following week he was feeding himself.

Later, we transferred him to the big aviary to give him plenty of space to fly.

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The ringer came last week and after a quick health check he was pronounced ready for release.

Kay took him back to the monastery to release him in the woods in the grounds.

At least this one was a winner.

Another tawny owl was not so lucky.

He was brought in a few days later, also with head injuries.

This one made what we thought was a good recovery so he was put into the undercover aviary as he was quite bad tempered.

He was feeding himself and we were ready to have him ringed at the same time as the other one, but when Kay and the ringer went into the aviary he was lying on the ground dead.

An hour earlier he had been checked and his aviary cleaned, and he was sitting on the edge of his box looking fine.

It doesn’t pay to be complacent when dealing with sick animals. They will always surprise you in the end.

We have also taken in a buzzard that was found in a field unable to fly.

He is only a young bird, still with yellow edges to his beak.

He is carrying one wing low and will go to the vet for an x-ray on Monday.

He is quite a steady bird and is enjoying chicks and quail for his dinner. He is very underweight too.

We are hoping that if there is a fracture it is not on a joint, which cannot be repaired.

We have managed to release several hedgehogs.

We are moving the hogs outside that will be up to hibernating weight by the end of September. We have some smaller ones, but these will have to overwinter with us.

We have purchased a new kind of hutch for these hogs. Jim is making a run to go round it so that each hog will have its own ‘patch’.

When my mum saw it she offered to pay for it. We hope to get five more of these hutches.

Two volunteers have sponsored one each so we need another three. They cost £80 each and we plan to have a row of them, each named by the sponsor. The row will be called Hotchi, the Romany word for hedgehog.

So far, only two of the ‘houses’ are named. We have Hogs Haven and Hogsmead.

If anyone would like to be such a generous sponsor, please give us a ring at the centre and we will give you all the details.

You will have to think of a name for the hutch.