Rehabilitation

Every year hundreds and thousands of birds are seriously injured or become sick due to man’s activities, modern agricultural practices and the increasingly urbanised environment we live in. Speeding traffic, barbed wire fences, wind turbines, pesticides, glass conservatories, electricity power lines and transformers, all can seriously injure and indeed kill birds, including birds of prey.

If you find an injured bird of prey you should report it to your local wildlife ranger immediately (contact National Parks and Wildlife Service). If you can, place the bird in a dark cardboard box, with ventilation holes in the bottom – do not place a raptor in a cage or dog/cat kennel where they may be tempted to fly to the light and cause added injury. Be very careful attempting to handle a wild bird of prey, as their talons are particularly sharp – a rolled up towel could be placed near the birds talons and hopefully they will latch onto this; another towel could be dropped over the bird and it can be handled by lifting up from the back. A local vet with experience in avian veterinary may be able to help, or your local ranger. Feel free to contact us for advice. Remember, if you intend to hold onto the bird during in rehabilitation period you will be required to apply for a license.

Injured peregrine on arrival. Injured Peregrine Falcon following clean up – note missing primaries feathers in foreground.
In July 2012, a local wildlife ranger in County Kerry contact us and handed onto us an injured bird of prey that was found on a farm in west Kerry covered in mud at a gateway between two fields. By the time we got the bird it was caked in dried mud, making identification nearly impossible. We carefully washed the bird down, initially using a toothbrush to clean the mud from its feathers! Several washes later and a beautiful peregrine falcon emerged with a damaged wing – with a significant number of primary feathers – essential for flight – missing. We will continue to mind the falcon with the intention of releasing it back to the wild.
Sick and weak kestrel with some feather damage handed into us from the rangers in July 2012.  Following a week of rehabilitation, this bird has now been successfully released back into the wild.