You never know what’s coming next


One of the most exciting things about volunteering at the trust is that we never know what is going to appear next.

Someone entering with a large box could be bringing anything from a buzzard to a blue tit, or a hedgehog to a badger.

In fact sometimes a large box contains something very small.

This is just what happened a few weeks ago. A large box contained a bird cage in which sat quite a forlorn looking blue tit. We could see that the bird had what appeared to be a broken wing.

The gentleman that brought him in explained that a cat had caught the bird. He explained that they had the cage handy and gave him food and water but they had expected the shock to kill the little bird.

Fortunately this blue tit was made of sterner stuff and soon tucked in to the food and was jumping around the cage, so he thought we should see what we could do for it.

We transferred the bird to one of our cages after examining the little scrap. Sadly it had a broken wing right by the joint which was impossible to repair. The volunteers in that day said that as it was jumping around the cage we should give it a bit of time to see if it would be able to manage with a damaged wing.

The bird settled in really well, enjoying the food we gave it and trilling as it leapt around the cage, in fact it is a very energetic bird not stopping till evening when it sleeps.

One evening when Kay and I were doing the night check at the Rollo Centre, Kay noticed the little blue tit was sitting on the bottom of the cage all fluffed up. It looked huge, when she made a noise the bird shook itself and gradually returned to its normal size. It does this every night but hears us when we try to take a photograph. The bird’s wing has not mended properly but one of our volunteers has given it a home as none of us wanted to put the bird to sleep.

Last week we had a barn owl brought in that was found on the ground under a tree. It was not able to stand properly but was listing to one side. There was no injury visible but we suspected concussion.

The high winds may have caught the bird as it was flying causing it to knock itself against the tree. The vet thought the same so we force fed that bird as it was not interested in food.

When we handled it we found a wound on its head. After cutting away the feathers that completely covered the wound we could see that it was quite large. We cleaned this up and found it was oozing horrible yucky stuff. The vet prescribed antibiotic medication. We are cleaning the wound daily and applying Intrasite Gel.

Barn owls tend to hide up a corner in the cage when they are unwell and after we have treated this bird he looks quite cross and sinks his head down. In the photo this week you can see the wound was still wet from the treatment. Once the feathers dry out there is nothing visible.