More white pigeons struggle to survive when released

More white pigeons are being released
More white pigeons are being released

This mild weather is certainly keeping the casualty numbers lower than normal, but we still have over 75 casualties in care, so on a daily basis we are still very busy looking after them, but we are trying to catch on paperwork and other requirements of being registered with the Royal College of Vets to ensure we continue to meet the standards they set and our legal requirements.

We have had a few night emergency calls this week including rescuer Tony going to a road casualty fox in Eastbourne. She was suffering from internal bleeding and spinal trauma and was rushed straight to the emergency vets for assessment but sadly died en route.

Every day we are getting hedgehogs coming into care. One has come from Barons Way, Polegate, and another too small to hibernate from Heathfield, both were out during the day. They have now been bedded down at our hospital to get some rest and some food. We have two youngsters from South Ave, Eastbourne, these two are siblings who both have lungworm, they came from the same address where we had hedgehogs “Dangermouse” and “Penfold” in 2012.

Berlin the pigeon has been with us some time now after being found grounded, but a good weight, behind HSBC in Uckfield. He had an injured wing, but gradually lost weight, would not eat and a faecal sample showed he had high levels of coccidia. Despite supportive feeding and two different types of treatment for it plus worming he was slow to put on weight and deteriorated again at the weekend, found on his back after falling off his perch every time he tried to jump on it. Our vets have now decided to try a third treatment and so far he has gained 30g since Tuesday and is looking much brighter again so fingers crossed we will win this time.

Over the past month we have had a number of pigeons coming into care with scalp injuries. Their wounds have been right from the top of the head and down the neck. Although no one has actually seen the injuries occur we are sure they are some form of predator injury, probably from a bird of prey. Our new vet Mike has been very surprised at the recovery of these injuries and how well they pigeons have coped during the treatment. Some of them have needed suturing but others where the wounds are too old or wide the wounds have been left with daily washing and gel applied. They have all recovered really well. So thank you to our Care Team and especially our animal care students who have been helping with the daily cleaning of the wounds.

We also have a white pigeon in which has been shot with an injured wing and broken leg. We are seeing more and more of these white pigeons, as they are often released at weddings, fairs and celebrations. Although there are some reputable owners, sadly there are many which are released into the wild and do not return home to their roosts and end up living in the wild and struggle to survive.

Pigeons are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. People lump doves, feral pigeons, wood pigeons, stock doves, Rock Doves and other similar coloured birds into the category of pigeons and sadly they all get persecuted in the same way as feral pigeons despite species like the Stock Dove being on the RSPB’s Amber Conservation List.

There is only one week left to buy tickets for our Christmas Party at the Cumberland Hotel, Eastbourne seafront on December 12. All proceeds will go towards helping us to overwinter the 100-plus hedgehogs which come in to care during autumn and winter. Tickets are only £17.50 which includes entry, a buffet service and entertainment throughout the evening. For tickets please contact Lindsay on 01825 873003.

Heathfield Sainsburys have been running a “Hunt the Hedgehog” competition in store where they hid 10 WRAS logo’s around the store. It was just £1 to enter and all correct answers were put in a hat and the lucky winner was Josie and Lola Ramel. They won a cuddly hedgehog and a Hugo the hedgehog cake. Thank you to all the customers and Staff at Heathfield Sainsburys for all their support.

Last don’t forget to keep an eye on BBC’s Countryfile programme as over the next few weeks they are supposed to be broadcasting an article on WRAS including the deer rescue I mentioned last week. They haven’t been able to guarantee when it is being aired but they suspect it will be on Sunday 7th December .