Today we ran a Training Day, Owls and Raptors. 11 enthusiastic people were keen to learn about the care of the tawny owls, barn owls and buzzards that we have in care, and also about their behaviour in the wild. Everyone learnt how to handle these birds. People were amazed at the small size of tawny and barn, under that thick layer of feathers. The ears of owls are amazing too; they are huge. We spent some time dissecting owl pellets, and found the skulls of voles and shrews, as well as lots of other bones. The highlight of the afternoon was to release a buzzard. The buzzard was found in May, tangled on a barbed wire fence. Its wing was badly injured, but after weeks of care, physiotherapy and exercise, it was ready for release. Everyone went to the release site, and there was relief and smiles as the bird flew high. One very lucky buzzard indeed.
The glorious weather of the past few days has allowed us to release some birds. The blackbird aviaries have been opened, and dunnocks, robins and blue tits have ventured off on their own. We released a tawny owl at Rouken Glen Park; it had been found in a goal net, and ducks and ducklings have been released too. It doesn’t make for any less work or more space at the centre, as more than 20 new casualties arrive every day.
This evening we are off to release 7 hedgehogs. Some of these have been caught on the Uists, and sent to us for relocation. Others have been treated here and now fit and healthy. In the hospital we have 14 baby hedgehogs. Most of these have come from disturbed nests, and luckliy for us, they are just old enough to feed themselves. They are drinking esbilac, a special milk formula, and eating tinned cat food. We can see them getting bigger by the day.