Buzzard Bliss

Back in February of this year, we wrote about a male Common Buzzard that was brought in to the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary hospital.  It was found locally in the middle of a field and was clearly unable to fly.  Veterinary investigations exposed old fractures of the ulna and radius bones in the left wing, which had healed but solidified in the process.  For just over seven months, the Buzzard has been monitored and cared for by the falconers in one of the Sanctuary’s rehabilitation aviaries until, finally, on the fourth of this month Andy and Dean deemed it fit and ready to begin its journey back to the wild. 
 
After a well-deserved moult and looking rather fine, the Buzzard was taken out by Andy and Dean for a flight test, to ensure that it was one hundred percent ready to fend and hunt for itself.  The flight test was a success, so the Buzzard was boxed up and transported to a nearby country estate for release.  Andy had previously contacted the owners of the estate to gain permission for the release, as the area offers the perfect habitat for this species: Common Buzzards like a varied environment, preferably with undulating countryside that provides natural updrafts and thermals for them to soar on.  They also like woody areas, with mature trees to nest in and grassland where they can catch a good bounty of mammals and worms. 

 



In the gathering gloom, the fully-recuperated buzzard was freed back to the wild on a local estate


As Andy poised ready to record the moment, Dean let the buzzard go.  It immediately flew to the top of a tree to gain its bearings, then turned and flew right over the top of the falconers to a mature pine, followed by a rowdy rabble of crows and jackdaws shouting abuse, not best pleased at having a bird of prey in their midst.  The Buzzard spent a couple of minutes perched on the top of the pine and then majestically took off and disappeared out of sight over the valley.
 
…and more releases pending
 
As  mentioned in last week’s blog, the hospital has been very busy recently.  Over the last two weeks alone, we have seen the arrival of two Tawny Owls and two Kestrels, one male and one female – all victims of road traffic accidents! They have all been receiving lots of TLC in the hospital’s rehab aviaries and it’s very heartening to be able to report that, without exception, all are very close to being fit for release.  We’ll keep you updated, so watch this space!