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

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Archives for Owl

July 27th 2013

DSC_7918_resampledThis afternoon we got a call to say that people had ushered a barn owl off the road, and it left it in bushes beside Lochend House. ┬áThe location wasn’t far from Hessilhead, so we set off straight away, and while I was knoocking on the door of the house, to explain what we were up to, Andy had the owl in a net. It is a youngster, still with some tufts of down, and may have fallen from a nearby tree. Barn owls don’t feed their young on the ground, and the owl is a little dehydrated. It has had fluids, and looks much better now. It will probably be ready for food later this evening.

July 14th


DSC_7722_resampledToday 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.