For over 25 years Hessilhead has cared for Scotland's injured and orphaned wildlife, aiming to rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release birds and animals back to the wild



November 20th 2015

We have some really good news today. The peregrine falcon, that has been with us for the past few months, was released. The young male bird came in with broken flight feathers and a shoulder injury. We couldn’t be sure if the shoulder would heal, and he couldn’t get proper flying practice with broken feathers. After a period of rest, some rook feathers were imped into the feather stumps, and this allowed the peregrine to fly in the aviary, keeping fit and exercising his shoulder. Eventually, during a natural moult, the rook feathers were dropped, and smart new peregrine feathers grew. It was such a good feeling when we saw the bird flying well in the aviary. It had been a long wait to find out if he would ever be released, but proves that patience pays off. We are proud to give our wildlife casualties the time and treatment they need to recover and return to the wild.DSC_1253 - Copy

The barn owl that came in with a broken leg has the splint removed and the leg has healed well. There is just a little lump at the site of the fracture. The owl is in a bigger flight now, getting some flying practice before release. Two more barn owls came into care last Saturday. Both fe,male and both hit by vehicles. Neither of them was badly injured, and both are now in aviaries, soon to be released back where they were found.P1080858 - Copy

We have two buzzards in aviaries too. Both came in underweight. They have been wormed, are eating well and on the way to release. A third buzzard isn’t so hopeful. He is badly concussed and has a vision problem. He is being hand fed, but seems to see a little now. We will keep on trying.

There are quite a few small garden birds in the hospital, including 3 starlings 3 blackbirds, a great tit and unusually for us, a nuthatch. This is a comical bird that spends most of its time upside down, and hiding behind the log in its cage. It is fast, so it is surprising that it was caught by a cat. It has flight feathers missing but flies remarkably well. It will soon be back in the wild too.

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The wet weather didn’t bring in many casualties, but a soggy crow was brought in from Johnstone, after being found in a dustbin. Once dried, he was quite perky, and shouldn’t have to stay in care long. Another patient from Johnstone is a pipistrelle bat, again from Auchenlodment School. This bat was found in a tank, and was covered in white powder covered in white powder. it didn’t take long for him to clean himself up.

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The stormy weather brought in two gannets. One adult and one young bird, but both underweight. No wonder they were battered by the winds.

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Strangely two white fantails sought shelter in Stewarton Primary School. We have given them a home here too.

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