What an absolutely crazy day it has been today, in fact the last week!
Some of you may be aware that we decided to develop the land that sited what we called our ‘crow pens’. Named due to the many years these large aviaries housed Cyril the Rook and Joe the Crow. After both of them went to live with a friend of the charity who keeps Corvids, in even bigger aviaries that you can imagine no less, we decided a redesign was in order.
This is where our friend Rob comes in, knowledgeable as they come; he is our project manager and keeps us on the right track. So for the last week Rob and I, with the help of any willing volunteers, have been clearing this area and under Rob’s guidance prepared it for the first stage: solid concrete base.
In the December 2015 edition of The Hartbeat, I mentioned that I was looking to acquire a new hospital cage/recovery unit. We get such a large number of animals come in that need the warmth and security of a recovery unit in order to survive, especially the young birds and other baby animals. Although we have two fantastic hospital cages that have been in near constant use for years now I decided a larger one was needed to cope with the amount we see.
Well, totally unexpectedly, some of our fantastic supporters sent in donations stating they wanted it to go specifically towards our new recovery unit! One of our longstanding members even went so far as to contact Brinsea who are well known for making brilliant incubators and recovery units, and told them about us. They were very interested in what we get up to and had a Advance Brooder/Recovery Unit on its way to us before we knew it.
It has only been set up a few weeks now and has seen all sorts; ducks, injured rabbits and even a tawny owl who fell down a chimney! It is a fantastic bit of kit and will see a tremendous amount of use in the year to come.
Thank you to all of our supporters as always.
Well folks, it has been another crazy year at the centre!
We couldn't do what we do without the fantastic support we receive from the members of the public. Be it our charity members, regular donators or just the odd load of towels or newspaper here and there, all of it helps us to keep going!
From everyone here at the centre, we hope you have an awesome and prosperous 2016.
Good day one and all!
Everyone at Hollytrees, whether two legged or four, would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year!! We've had an extremely busy year at the centre and we get through it with your amazing support. We honestly couldn't help as many or as wider variety of animals without your help!
Below you can find a digital copy of our Christmas card and newsletter for your perusal. (Requires a PDF viewer like Adobe Acrobat to view)
2015 Christmas Card (outer)
2015 Christmas Card (inner)
2015 Christmas Newsletter
Once again hope you have a very Merry Christmas and an incredible New Year!
Well folks, today we were involved with something a bit different!
The delightful dynamic duo Sunny and Shay from BBC West Midlands popped by this afternoon to do a live broadcast from the centre itself!
I will prepare a more detailed write up including photos and videos. But for now I invite you to check the show out on BBC WMs Listen Again (Link below) as well as Sunny and Shay's Facebook and Twitter pages.
BBC WM Listen Again (available until 3rd Dec)
Sunny and Shay Facebook
Sunny and Shay Twitter
I would just like to say a huge thank you to Sunny and Shay (and producers and support staff of course) for coming and seeing us in our little part of the world. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time and would love to have you back.
A gentleman contacted us a few days ago reporting that he had found what appeared to be an injured Hobby near Kingsbury Water Park. As with all wildlife cases, I told him to bring it straight up to us and we would do everything we could to help him.
Upon closer inspection he only seemed to have damage to his one wing. Thankfully we were put in touch with Amicus veterinary surgery, who are well known for treating birds and indeed all kinds of wildlife. A very efficient young lady digitally X-rayed his wing so as to see the extent of the damage and luckily it only looked like a minor break to one of the bones. He was prescribed complete rest for at least 6 weeks and some vitamins and supplements to boost him up during his recovery.
I am pleased to say he is settled in and eating extremely well. After his initial rest he will be moved in to a larger aviary so he can build up the muscles around his wing. When he has made a full recovery we will be releasing him back in to the wild around where he was found.
He has proved to be a very interesting patient indeed. He is not the first bird of prey we have had in but he is definitely the first Hobby and is an absolute delight to observe. In the wild their main diet are birds such as swallows, swifts and house martins, as well as insects such as dragonfly. All of which they generally catch on the wing!
A massive well done to the gentleman who rescued this delightful bird and a special thank you to Amicus for their aid.
Today was a lovely sight to behold. The ducklings that we have been rearing for the last few weeks have been released. We have been able to keep them very wild and such releasing them was just a matter of waiting for them to grow up a bit. Watching the mother duck, who also adopted the orphaned group of ducklings in to her brood, set off with all the babies in tow was an absolute joy and makes all the work totally worth it.
Below you can see some pictures we took not long before their release, showing just how much they've grown in such a short amount of time.
The young chickens are still with us, once they are old enough they will be re-homed.
Just a quick update to say that our Tawny Owl that got himself tangled up in Christmas lights was released last night. After some weeks of getting him used to the local owls in a large aviary we left the door open overnight and left it up to him. We keep a supply of food in the same spot so that the transition isn't too stressful, but other than that he is off roaming free now. Such a wonderful sight to see them successfully rehabilitated and released back in to the wild!
Two long standing friends and members of the charity called me up on Thursday to say they had a bewildered pheasant who had taken residence in their greenhouse. They told me he seemed quite happy and was eating the bird food they were putting out for him but were worried in case the local foxes came and picked him off. So off I went nets in hand to try and catch him.
He was really quite easy to catch, wasn't too scared of me. But upon closer inspection he turned out to be a Grey francolin (also known as a 'Teetar', so called because of the calls they make - a loud and repeated Ka-tee-tar...tee-tar"). He immediately settled in at the center and very much enjoys all the attention he gets as he is definitely an unusual sight.
Well done and a big thank you to all of our members and helpers.
Today we got a call from 'YourVets' (Wythall branch) to say that a young deer had been hit by a car and wondered if we would be able to take it in. They X-ray'd him and there was no sign of any broken bones or internal injuries. Of course I went straight out and collected the little darling. Straight from there I had to go and get some goats milk to bottle feed him with. He took to this really well thankfully, as this is the hardest part. We will rear him, keeping him as wild as possible and hopefully release him back in to the wild if he makes it through!