Opening soon: our new sanctuary for owls in need of rehoming – please donate and help secure their future
Rescue & Rehabilitation
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 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 and are likely to become long-term fostered residents at our new '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 01225 971708.
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
Abandoned fledgling Kestrel returned to the wild
This fledgling Kestrel was picked up by us after being 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 been 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
Gyr/Prairie Falcon ‘Nefertiti’
This female Gyr/Prairie Falcon came to us after she had been injured in a hunting accident. She became a member of the WOEF foster family where we named her ‘Nefertiti’.
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. We took him into our foster programme after he had passed 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!