All in a Day’s work

Being a charity, we are always very grateful for the help we get from our loyal supporters.  Whether it’s someone kindly leaving the Sanctuary a bequest or offering a helping hand with maintenance work, it all helps us to give our resident birds and our hospital patients the best possible care.

Amongst our regular supporters is Eastern Concrete, sponsors of S.O.S. for the last three years.  They have donated a considerable amount of gravel and also footings for new aviaries, not to mention taking time out of their busy schedule to deliver the afore-mentioned.

On the 4th September, Eastern Concrete hosted the grand opening of their new local yard and, as a special thank you for all their support over the years we thought it would be a nice gesture to take a few of the birds of prey along for a couple of hours to help make the day an extra special one.

Maz explains about the various birds we took along to the Eastern Concrete event, to a couple of the young visitors

After work, our fundraiser Maz and head falconer Matt set off with Comet the Peregrine Falcon, Pungu the Bateleur Eagle, Josh the Harris Hawk and Samba, Maz’s European Eagle Owl in tow.  The birds were all impeccably behaved and proved to be a great attraction.  As well as being a thank you to our hosts, the occasion also provided an opportunity for Maz and Matt to talk to other business people, further helping to raise awareness of the Sanctuary and the work that goes on here.

At the event, Maz met with a gentleman called Barry Fender, who is the General Manager of Bardon Concrete.  He was extremely interested in the rehabilitation work that the hospital achieves and was keen to know what he could do to help.  Our travel boxes have begun to look somewhat tired and worn of late, so he agreed to donate three boxes of varying sizes, so that the falconers can transport birds in comfort and safety to the vets and back.

The boxes arrived a couple of days ago and very smart they are too!  So thank you Barry, we are really chuffed with them and they are certainly much lighter to carry than the old wooden ones!

Inside & out - these splendid new travel boxes will make for safe & secure travelling when our display birds go off-site

Prevention rather than Cure

Meanwhile, back at base, our conservation officer Dean has been hard at work changing the astro-turf on the perches in some of the aviaries. Unfortunately, it needs replacing regularly, so the falconers were chuffed when the Sanctuary was an recent recipient of an anonymous donation of some astro-turf - a timely present!  You might think that as long as birds have somewhere to perch, they would be quite happy.  If only life were that simple: in captivity, different birds have to have different kinds of perches and the material the perch is made of can be important too. Lack of adequate perching can cause all kinds of problems, one of the grimmest of which is a condition called ‘bumblefoot’.

Dean spent a happy morning replacing astro-turf strips to the perches of thems that needs it.

Bumblefoot is a serious lesion affecting either the ball of the foot or one or more of the toes and it can have potentially devastating consequences. It can be caused by pressure on the foot, rather like a bed sore, where the blood flow has been restricted leading to infection and swelling.  In some birds it’s almost impossible to cure, with the bacteria in the tissue simply not responding to treatment, so it really is a case of prevention - in this case, sufficient astro-turf covered perches for those birds to which it is best suited - is better than cure!