Healing the Birds and Other Creatures
On Friday morning I found myself driving across to the other side of Brighton with a young jackdaw as my passenger. It all started the evening before when a scene from The Birds slowly start to build at the back of our house. There was much swirling and shouting of birds (mostly from the crow family but also some seagulls joined in) and the focus seemed to be in our garden. I disguised myself as a giant magpie by putting on my black and white raincoat and pulled the hood up to avoid any possible attacks (well, you never know).
I strolled the length of the garden and didn't see anything untoward but on the way back, I spotted a young jackdaw hiding under the hedge. The cats were around but they hadn't actually got it. To cut a long story short, it seemed that the young jackdaw had left the nest before it was quite ready to fly. The magpies were overly interested in it and the neighbourhood jackdaws (of which there are many) were joining forces to defend the situation. The cats were lurking in the background because there was a bird on the ground and the seagulls were just joining in because they could (in their "rent a mob" kind of way)
We kept the cats indoors for the night whilst the jackdaw hid itself in a dark and sheltered corner of the veggie patch and hoped that the situation might resolve overnight but unfortunately it didn't. The next morning I managed to capture the very lively little bird and put him in the cat carrier.
When a young fledgling leaves the nest and isn't flying, you're supposed to leave them be as the parents will still try to feed them, but with 2 magpies and 2 cats around, he wouldn't have stood a chance.
So, off he went to Roger's Wildlife Rescue. Roger is one of those unsung heroes, of which there are many around the country. He and his wife give up all of their time to look after injured and sick wild animals, hopefully rehabilitating them for a return to the wild. He is always happy to offer telephone advice when needed as the more animals he can help, the better. They rely completely on donations and do such amazing work. Last year for instance, up until November, they had received 1329 birds (releasing 519), 28 foxes, 64 hedgehogs, 19 rabbits, 18 squirrels, 3 badgers, 3 mice, a slow worm, a lamb, a dormouse, a frog and a toad!