August, 2010


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Wildlife Enquiries

'Good morning, Wildlife Enquiries...' We take hundreds of calls and e-mails every day. Find out what everyone's asking this week
  • Trichomonosis: August & September.

    Disease spread throughout the country
    This week a press release went out highlighting the impact that Trichomonosis has had on greenfinch and chaffinch numbers. This received a lot of media interest and lead to a massive surge in disease reports. A new disease page is up and running and people can be directed here or if you are finding a large number of dead bird call 01767 693690 for Wildlife Enquiries.

    Lack of birds
    The disease story also generated a few lack of bird queries. Some people were concerned that the lack of birds in their garden was caused by this disease. In some cases, the lack of greenfinches and chaffinches might be caused by disease but generally birds will be absent from gardens because they are feeding on natural food, which is abundant at this time of year.

    Juvenile goldfinches have caused some confusion as they visit feeders. They don't have the red face and black and white head markings of the adults but do have the yellow wingbars and black and white markings on the wings and tail.

    Birds trapped in buildings:
    Inexperienced juvenile birds and reckless birds of prey have been widely reported from distribution centres and car showrooms nationwide. Once they are in, they are very difficult to get out as there is no easy solution. Although allowing as much natural light into a room with all possible exits open is usually enough to encourage a bird to find its own way out. Trapped birds in netting or tight spaces should be reported to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

    Racing pigeons:
    It is now the time of year when Racing pigeons are usually found in gardens. Callers who find exhausted racing pigeons in their gardens are advised about racing pigeon welfare and given contact numbers for the relevant pigeon racing association. Usually the Royal Pigeon Racing Association on 01452 713 529 (This would be Racing pigeons with GB on the leg ring)

  • July & August

    Diseased birds
    REMEMBER: if you are finding Sick or Dying birds to check here for information. Reports of these are starting to increase as they do every summer. The peak time for disease reports is September. The disease is most likely to be Trichomonaisis.

    Baby birds
    We can all start to relax a bit as the worst of the baby bird season seems to be over. Still a few gull chicks around and pigeons are still breeding but the number of welfare calls is dropping. However, there are still some people taking in fledglings. Familiar garden birds fledge once they are fully feathered, but before they're able to fly, they spend a day or two on the ground while their feathers finish developing. Fledglings should be left where they are, in the care of their parents.

    Break for freedom
    We often get reports of parrots and Harris' hawks escaping their owners but this week a marabou stork landed at a car boot sale. Fortunately, it found its own way back to Eagle Heights in Kent. A turkey vulture is still at large in Hampshire however.

    Hummingbird hawkmoths
    The usual confusion between bird and moth. We are yet to receive any evidence of hummingbirds on the loose in the UK so any report of a hummingbird will almost certainly be a hawkmoth.

    Snake in the grass
    We have had a couple of snake IDs this week. One was a grass snake. The other was a snake 3ft long with a straight red line down its back. No idea what that was!