‘Second chance at life’: Buzzard stuck in lorry radiator nursed back to health at Stonham Barns sanctuary
- Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY
A bird of prey struck by a truck in Suffolk had a lucky escape and has now returned to the wild thanks to the loving care of staff at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.
The adult buzzard was found stuck in the radiator of a truck travelling near Farnham, on September 18.
After being carefully removed from the vehicle, it was inspected by the team at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary's Stonham Barns base, including falconer Rufus Samkin.
These incidents can lead to serious injuries, from concussion to broken limbs and internal injuries, so the team were astonished to find he only had one broken feather.
Mr Samkin said: "Upon arrival at our bird of prey hospital, we gave him rehydration fluids which help the birds deal with shock and gives them a bit of a boost, as well as giving him an anti-inflammatory to help with the bruising.
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"Then we assessed how willing he was to eat, and thankfully he was.
"He had a few days rest indoors in a low light, temperature controlled hospital room to keep him as relaxed as possible before we released him into an outdoor seclusion aviary designed to minimise stress.
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"He was understandably nervous as he is a wild bird but he started to fly around comfortably in the aviary and greedily ate all the food we provided which is always a great sign."
Mr Samkin added: "He has already been set free which is great news, he's a very lucky bird indeed."
While road traffic accidents are a common cause of injuries to wild birds of prey, Mr Samkin said it was a surprise to see just where the buzzard was stuck.
"It's quite unusual for a bird to be caught in a radiator but we do see a lot of birds in our hospital that are road traffic accidents," he said.
"Kestrels hunt along roads and buzzards often scavenge road kill so are often involved in accidents.
"Head injuries after car accidents are frequent and is a huge issue for the birds because they are sight-orientated - a big enough impact can permanently blind them, if not worse."
"Any birds with blood, broken bones or significant injuries will go straight to the vet for further assessment," Mr Samkin added.
"It's hugely rewarding to give an injured or unlucky wild bird of prey a second chance at life."