Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre is home to over thirty Birds of Prey and Owls, representing twenty-six species including all 5 British Owls. Birds of all sizes, the Little Owl, Kestrels, Buzzards, Hawks, Falcons and Eagles, including “Orla”, our Golden Eagle.
It is a 24-hour operation where owner Stewart, his family, staff and volunteers care for all the birds 365 days a year. With many of the birds in Stewart’s care the result of rescues, they are also on call to help with injured and unwanted birds and provide them with care and a home if required.
Because of this, Stewart is keen to share his knowledge on what you should do if you find an injured owl or Bird of Prey.
What to do if you find an injured Owl or Bird of Prey
- If you find yourself in a situation, where there are signs that the Owl or Bird of Prey is sick or injured, contact a local Falconry or Bird of Prey Centre, or Wildlife Rescue Centre, and ask if they can be of assistance, preferably, sending someone to pick up the patient.
- If it is not possible for them to send someone, and you are required to transport it, then use a blanket or jacket to wrap the patient, taking care to avoid the beak and feet. Wrap the patient tightly, keeping the wings closed and tight to the body, and place on the floor of the vehicle, ensuring the heater is turned down to avoid overheating, and take the patient to the centre. Ideally, a cardboard box with air holes, or a cat transport box can be used to contain the patient.
- If the patient cannot be transported to a centre immediately, and you are required to take it home, then it should be placed in a box and placed in a quiet dark room.
- If you do not have a local Falconry or Bird of Prey Centre, or Wildlife Rescue Centre, then contact your local vet. There are few vets with the necessary expertise to treat Owls and Birds of Prey, but, they should have contact details for those vets who can offer the correct advice.
What to do if you find a young bird on its own
- Despite what most people think, Owls and Birds of Prey do not have a sense of smell. Therefore, touching young birds during rescue does not affect the reaction of the parents. Nestlings (those birds which are too young to leave the nest), and fledglings (those birds which are about to leave or have left the nest), sometimes find themselves outside the nest without the strength or ability to get back.
- If you find one of these, and the chick is safe from predation by cats etc, then leave it.
- If the chick is on the ground, or in a situation where predators such as cats can get access, then lift the chick off the ground onto a branch or structure to prevent it being predated. In most cases, the adults will feed the chick and will endeavour to get it to regain the nest. Tawny Owls are well known for branching (exploring the tree surrounding the nest) before they have fledged, and sometimes find themselves isolated.
- Please try to check to ensure the nest hasn’t been predated and the youngster is isolated due to escaping. If this is the case, then a local Wildlife Rescue Centre or Falconry/Bird of Prey Centre must be contacted.
For information on Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre and how you can visit and support Stewart and his team, go to https://llbopc.co.uk/.