Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Barn Owl and Buzzard Juv's.

This young Barn Owl was found with 3 older siblings in a nest box in the East Riding. Rob Salter, Barn Owl ringer found him just in time.He had an injury to his air sacks which leaked air from his body trapping it under the skin.The air built up and covered the whole body,forcing the bottom bill up so the bird could not eat.He looked bloated and the skin was tight. I had to puncture the taut skin so the bird could eat. He was given antibiotics and a large slit was made so the air could pass through. Once the leaky air sack healed so did the large slit by the side of the shoulder and the bird ate well and was happy again. Rob and I met up again in
Morrisons car park in Beverely and he took him home.His 3 siblings were still in the nest box and he huddled back up in the familiarity of the box and home. A week later Rob was passing by and he looked in to see how things were going.The 4 youngsters hissed thier displeasure at being disturbed again , all looked well and thier was plenty of food in the larder.

A this years Buzzard flew in front of a car during a rain storm near Scarborough. The driver picked her up and tried to release her in a nearby field. She could not fly so I went to collect her. Her breathing was bad, bubbly and heavy. She was left to rest in a quiet pen with food. I took her for Andy Forsyth the vet to exam and  x-ray. She had blood etc in the body cavity but no wounds. She was put on a course of antibiotics and we crossed our fingers.
She refused food for 2 days but remained calm and too steady. She began to eat and to improve. Her demeanour and wildness came back and after 10 days was sat up on a perch and looking good.

I took her for BTO ringing and called in to the finders to get an exact location to release her.
The young nepehew of the finder came with me for the release.
We let her go next to an L shaped mixed woodland she sat on my shoulder and then my head before flying off ! She flew straight and true into a large tree.

As we got back into the car another Buzzard flew over from the far wood straight to the tree where the young bird was perched . This bird must have been watching the release and came to gather up her youngster.
I'm a lucky woman !

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Snared Badger

This adult sow badger was found caught in a snare around the hips, in a hedgerow at Overton which is north of York, just off the A19. The RSPCA attended and a local vet. The snare with badger attached was taken to Minster Vets where they were parted under anasthetic. She then came here the following day, very stressed and upset. I left her to settle and she remained very alert and suspicious for the next  2 days and ate nothing .She was given antibiotic injections every 2 days and on the 4th, 5th and 6th days the snare wound opened up like a deep pusy zip.Snares cause pressure necrossis , the snare tightens and cuts off the blood supply and the skin dies off which but does not show to begin with.It is so important not to release a badger straight from a snare but to keep them safe and give strong doses of antibiotic. She began to eat and I had to be very careful and  repsectful when injecting her. It took 3 weeks for the wound to come up flat and for her flesh to heal over. She began to test the pen, always a good sign that they are well and ready to be off.

I rang in the incident to the North Yorkshire Police, which at first was ignored, there is not a Wildlife Crime Officer dedicated to York at the moment.Eventually a knowledgable WCO came down from Bedale and visited the area where she was snared. I had been for a look also and sadly there were 2 areas of disturbance where 2 badgers had been caught.

After 3 weeks she was ready to return and we travelled back to the farm track where she was illegally caught .As soon as I lifted her from the car her nose was up sniffing the familiar scent of home.

I put the travelling box down and she scrabbled about ready for the off. To say she went well was an under statement !Fast, straight and galloping, down the farm track then a sharp left and into the thick cover of oil seed rape. Lovely. I hate snares and think its about time this barbaric practise was finally banned forever.