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Bird Of Prey Rescue & Conservation

Fostered Great Horned Owl Injured Kestrel Insjured Tawny Owl Kestrel release Baby owl

One of West of England Falconry's most important activities as a charity is the rescue and rehabilitation of Birds of Prey in the Bath area. Our conservation programme includes making and supplying nest boxes for wild Barn Owls, Little Owls and Tawny Owls; all of whose natural breeding locations are under threat. For further information please call or email us.

Our aim when dealing with lost captive birds is to re-unite them with their owners at the earliest opportunity – in cases where an owner cannot be identified rescued birds become part of our foster family and may subsequently be rehomed. Our priority when dealing with sick or injured wild birds is returning them to health and to the wild as quickly as possible.

We are also increasingly being asked to provide a safe, secure home for formerly captive or captive-bred owls of all varieties. These are birds which cannot be released into the wild some of which become long-term fostered residents at The Owlery.

How to spot an ‘escaped’ Bird of Prey

Identifying a bird that has escaped from captivity is usually fairly straight-forward, it should have an identity ring on one of its legs (or it may be wearing leather anklets). Identity rings carry a unique number so, providing the bird is registered with the Independent Bird Registry (IBR), the owner's name and contact details should be on record.

For your own safety and that of the bird itself please don't attempt to capture a Bird of Prey even if it appears approachable – please contact us on 07473 757554 or 07766 767153.

You could also call the IBR on 0161 790 5613 where you should talk to Keith or Barbara.

A few of our rescue and rehab' stories...

Returned to the wild

Male Tawny Owl rescued and returned to the wild
A local resident contacted us after finding a male Tawny Owl tangled in netting in their back garden. After a few days rest to build up his strength, he was successfully released near to where he was found, in Alexandra Park, Bath.

Trapped male Sparrowhawk successfully released
Warehouse staff at a in Corsham alerted us to a trapped male Sparrowhawk. We managed to retrieve him and return him to the wild in fit and healthy condition .

6-week-old female Peregrine Falcon returned to nest box
One of the 2017 brood from St. John’s church, Bath, this young female was had flown into a window and was left dazed but uninjured. After contacting the Hawk & Owl trust she was safely returned to her nest box.

Male Sparrowhawk released following recovery from a broken wing
Local residents called us after spotting a male Sparrowhawk on the roadside, unable to fly. After a trip to the vets it was confirmed that he had broken his wing. Following a couple of weeks rest in one of our hospital aviaries the bone had fused and he could use his wing again. He was released near the village of Wilmington, where he was found.

Kestrel returned to the wild after an attack
This young male Kestrel, with a swollen eye and badly damaged tail feathers, appeared to have been attacked by another bird or animal. The eye recovered quickly after a course of medication, but it was nearly 13 months before he’d moulted through a new tail and was able to to fly well enough to be successfully released at Newton St Loe.

Abandoned fledgling Kestrel returned to the wild
We picked up this fledgling Kestrel after it was abandoned by its parents – we found him screaming on a barn rooftop in the pouring rain! After carefully climbing up to rescue him we took him back to West of England Falconry HQ fed him up and gave him a home for a few months. Once he was fledged we arranged for registration with the IBR before releasing him to start a new life.

Three orphaned Kestrels returned to the wild
A local resident who'd observed Kestrels breeding in his garden for four years called us when he noticed the parents of the latest brood hadn't returned to the nest for several days. We were able to nurse three of the four orphaned chicks back to health and, once they were able to fly and fend for themselves, we had them tagged and all three were successfully returned to the wild.

Fallen nestling Tawny Owl hand-reared and returned to the wild
A four week old Tawny Owl, which we suspect had fallen from its nest and become disorientated, was found in Southstoke near Bath. After nine weeks careful hand-rearing at our aviaries he was successfully released into the wild as a strong, healthy, independent young bird.

Returned to their owners

17-year-old Harris Hawk reunited with its owner
A call from Keynsham near Bristol alerted us to a Bird of Prey loose in a garden. Although the bird had no anklets or jesses, it was ringed. Once caught we were able identify ‘George’ with the help of the IBR and reunite him with his owner.

European Eagle Owl reunited with its owner following local TV news story
A European Eagle Owl, lost for six months and discovered roosting in the village of Timsbury, was reunited with her owner who identified her after seeing a short film and news story about our recovery call-out which featured on the ITV local news.

Great Grey Owl reunited with its owner
This big beautiful Bird of Prey escaped after freak weather damaged his aviary. We were called out to Melksham to retrieve him from a garden and identified him from his IBR registration. Owner and bird were happily reunited a few days later.

Fostered or rehomed

Fostered owls settle into The Owlery
Arwen (European Eagle Owl), Khush (Bengal Eagle Owl) and Hotah (Great Horned Owl) came to us from a private collector who could no longer keep them. After they had settled into their new home in The Owlery, they began their training. Khush and Arwen are doing really well and are beginning to participate in Owl Encounters. Hotah is very scared of people, but we are continuing to work with him at his pace, and he is making steady progress.

Female Tawny owl rescued after being hit by a car
Found near a busy road, dazed and unable to fly away this Tawny Owl had suffered internal bleeding behind one of her eyes, causing it to become inflamed. Despite our best efforts, and anti- inflammatory medication, she was left blind in her damaged eye even though the bleed had cleared. Unable to be returned to the wild, we were faced with the choice of finding her a new home, or euthanasia. To keep our limited number or hospital aviaries available for future rescues, we found her a new home at Avon Owls, where she could be cared for in captivity.

Mystery of the unclaimed ‘Red Tail’
Although he wore an identity ring ‘Rufus’ the Red Tail hawk was never registered nor was he ever reported lost or stolen. He joined our foster programme after passing through several temporary homes.


We are a charity, please support us with a donation

Please support our work by booking one of our Hawk Walks or by making a donation. By making a Gift Aided donation HMRC give us an extra 25% so if you donate £10, we get £12.50 and donations can be claimed against tax – so everyone wins!