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



February 20th 2017

A varied selection of admissions have kept us busy recently. In the hospital we have two buzzards that arrived within 24 hours of each other. Both were in good condition but had been in road traffic collisions, and had some concussion and cuts. They have not been easy patients. They didn’t start feeding themselves as we’d expected, and when held and hand rfed were extremely bad tempered. One of them, that still has an eye injury, started eating yesterday, and the other one has eaten today. Hopefully they will soon be moved to aviaries. They are very unhappy in the hospital.

We have a kestrel ready for release, and another one making good progress. The latter had a shoulder injury, but now holds its wing high and flies well in the indoor flight.

A tawny owl was collected yesterday to be released where it was found. It is always a pleasure to let the finder release a casualty that he/she helped.

A barn owl that was found lying on the road last week has made a remarkable recovery. it will move to an aviary tomorrow and hopefully soon be back with its mate. 
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We enjoyed seeing a tawny owl perched on the entrance to our new owl nest box for a few days. We haven’t seen it recently, but hopefully the pair will nest there. It is within site of the hospital window.P1120295 - Copy

Last week we released a cormorant that had been found at Strathclyde Loch, soaking. It needed quite a lot of showering to make it waterproof again. We were pleased to see beads of water rolling down its back. The bird stepped from the box, and had a good around before flying away.P1120327 - Copy

Last Monday evening, just before midnight and as we were about to make hot chocolate, the phone rang. A badger had been found in a garden in Kilbarchan. Of we went, and the lady had put a ferret enclosure round the badger. It was a bit reluctant to enter the carrying box, but with a bit of persuasion we got it inside, and soon had it back at the hospital. This poor badger seems to have been bitten by a dog. It has an ear missing, has bites on its face, a cut lip and had a loose broken tooth. It has been patched up, had the tooth removed, and is now eating well.DSC_3264 - Copy

On Saturday a sparrowhawk was collected from us to be released in Drumchapel where it was found just a few days earlier. Apparently it flew off well. We had another sparrowhawk here for an overnight stay, after it hit a window at CVastle Semple visitor centre yesterday.P1120322 - Copy

Swans continue to come in, several a week. One was found at Kilbirnie loch with serious head injuries. It was almost a week before she started trying to eat, and she had trouble doing so. Over the past week she has got stronger, though we have been tube feeding her too. She is gaining weight now and should make a full recovery. We’ve had a bunch of cygnets that have been chased away from home, and a couple of adult swans that have landed on roads.DSC_3255 - Copy

Small birds have included robins, blackbirds and chaffinches. As usual there are plenty of pigeons.

Another small hedgehog was brought to us last week, but the warm weather of the weekend allowed us to release a few rather fat hedgehogs. Hopefully more will be going soon.

We were upset when the little female otter became ill after a couple of days in care, and sadly died. Her brother, who was bigger and stronger, is doing really well, and fortunately doesn’t seem to be lonely. He is eating well and seems content.DSC_3268 - Copy

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