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Updates from the National Bird of Prey Hospital™

We are extremely proud of the work we do in the National Bird of Prey Hospital™. Hospital Manager Cedric, along with other dedicated staff members and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure all the birds get the highest level of care possible, and the best chance at survival when they are released back into the wild.

So far, 2021 has been no exception, and Cedric and the team are very busy as always. Read on for the latest updates from the hospital!

It is extremely busy in the hospital at the moment, at the time of writing (30 June 2021) we were caring for 38 birds from 8 different species including a long-term Goshawk patient and 17 Tawny Owl chicks! Tawny Owl chicks are often brought into our hospital because they sometimes leave the nest when they are quite young and it looks like they may not be ready. This is called ‘branching’ and is a completely normal behaviour for this species, and the parents will still feed the chick. If you find a Tawny Owl chick out of the nest, it will usually be perfectly OK. However, if you are worried for any reason, or the owl looks like it might be injured or in danger, for example if it is on a busy footpath or bridleway, near a road, or where cats or dogs might be able to find it, then you can always give us a call for advice. Find out what to do if you find an injured, sick or orphaned bird of prey.

We are happy to report that many of the birds in the hospital now are almost ready for release back into the wild. We have an adult Tawny Owl is making a good recovery. It was brought in a few weeks ago after a suspected vehicle collision. This bird is doing well and has now been moved to an outside bay to prepare it for release.

A few days ago a Kestrel was found on a busy road near Stockbridge, soaking wet and exhausted, possibly caught in some inclement weather or forced into a puddle by a passing car! This particular bird has had a health check, and is in very good condition so will be released in the next few days. As well as the Kestrel, a Hobby also made a fleeting visit after a suspected run in with a vehicle. It came to us from another rescue centre and is very healthy and was lucky to escape uninjured. It will be released very soon.

We also looked after an injured male Peregrine Falcon. This beautiful bird was found in someone’s garden with a wing injury. After a thorough examination by our vet John Chitty, and with Cedric’s expert care it is now on the road to recovery! Fortunately, the wing was not broken, but it did suffer some bruising so it will be treated with antibiotics and pain relief over the next few days, and its progress will be monitored closely. We are confident that it will make a full recovery and after building back its fitness in one of our state-of-the-art outside aviaries it will be released back into the wild. Visit our Facebook page to watch a video of Cedric treating this Peregrine Falcon.

However busy it gets in the hospital there are always days where the work feels wonderfully worthwhile. Releasing successfully rehabilitated birds back into the wild brings with it a feeling like no other! Here you can see the wonderful release of a Red Kite, which spent around 5 weeks at the Trust, recovering from a wing injury. It made a brilliant recovery, and flew extremely well after being released, soaring over Reg’s Wildflower Meadow! Find out more about the vital work we do in our National Bird of Prey Hospital™.

©2021 Hawk Conservancy Trust