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View Full Version : common buzzard advice please?


Whispers
03-02-2006, 08:53 AM
hi there,

can i just say what a great forum this is:lol: i need a bit of advice please.......

i was asked by a local charity if i could collect and house a common buzzard, now i rehab a lot of wildlife but have never had a buzzard before, i know most things and can get by but what i am not sure on is a. how do you sex a buzzard? is it down do a diffence in size of males and females? and is there anyway of telling what age he might be? my guy looks to be very small compaired to the ones we have flying around our farm, he was found sitting at the side of the road next to a dead rabbit so the vet thinks he has been hit by a car, he did have food in his mouth at the time and the vet suspects a head injury, hes not eating of his own accord but is happy to be force fed, i have offered him dead chicks but no responce, he was moving his head around like he was dizzy but seems better today sat on his perch and looked at me, i have him in an empty stable [16f by 14f ] with plenty of perches and branches, water [which he is drinking] and food, i have been giving him lambs liver and mince but is that good? and would i have to add something to help him recover a bit better, what i mean is is he getting every thing he needs from just raw meat? i have kept the stable darkish for now, also how often will buzzards eat? i have been trying not to handle him for to long and just offering him food every hour or so.

am i doing things right? any advice would be great thanks:yawinkle:

debbie

Dave G
03-02-2006, 09:07 AM
just let him settle deb the more days go by the stronger he will get, and when hes eating for him self let him back into the wild as you need a license to keep wild birds of prey, as for sex well females are normaly a 3rd bigger than males , i would feed him mice or rat and give him a few dead rabbits to feed off he will seen be on his feet and out the door,as for the handling i would leave him be as hes a wild buzzard who needs to remain wild to be releast

JB29
03-02-2006, 09:10 AM
I get birds from my vet to rehab from time to time and if it has been hit by a car then get him to check if it has been blinded by the impact. I've had this with a number of birds that seem otherwise OK. As far as sexing and size they all look bigger in the sky with nothing to compare them to. Weight is probably your best guide. You seem to be fine otherwise keeping bird calm and warm. Food seems fine - as far as day olds go I've had one or two who just don't recognise them as food and have to be introduced to them.

MickeyDredd
03-02-2006, 10:17 AM
Has the bird been examined by a vet?

Roo
03-02-2006, 11:40 AM
Can't really help, but hope he/she makes a good recovery:-D

Scruff
03-02-2006, 11:50 AM
Ive had that too...not recognising chicks. mice and rat/rabbit is what Id go with too. Some of the ones Ive re habilitated had head injuries (internal) and turned out blind. Unfortunately these are put to sleep as they wouldn't be able to be released back. you might want to notify defra that you have a wild buzzard at your address. If you have a wild BoP there for re habilitation you need a vet to have seen it. This is your evidence to defra, that you didnt just take a bird from the wild and thats its under your care and under veterinary advisement. If you need extra supplements for the buzzard, you could go with raptor essentials / sa37 / or Rapid Response. These are powders you put inside the food. But you've probably already had experience of one or two of these if you re habilitate wildlife anyhoo. cant think of anything else, except, (as above) spent as little contact time with it as possible . oh and be careful with the feeding, if it keeps taking on food without time to 'cast', it could develop 'sour crop'. good luck.

UKJay's Nursey
03-02-2006, 12:02 PM
firstly welcome to the forum
is this your first raptor recue?
as mickey said has he/she been seen by a vet? if not i would try and get a avain vet to have a look at them,when you say he/shes is moving head around as if its dizzy in what kinda way(kinda moving it up and around with neck stretched)as our buzzards always used to bob and move head round in circle to fix on to something.
have you any idea of its weight as i think this should be watched if at all possible with a wild bird.
as for feeding little (if its meat with no fur/feathers) and often first of all(keep eye on its crop) then when looking healthier try again with day old chicks/mice and some rabbit,also when on day old chicks etc feeding times will drop as they will have to cast up previous meal before eating


just another thing keep an eye on water dish removing at night if temps dropping as it will freeze.

hope it makes a good recovery and can be released back to its home:D

Whispers
03-02-2006, 02:52 PM
oh thanks so much for such sound advice.....yes he has been seen by a special bird vet and he said it was shocked and needed peace and quiet which i have given him, i will contact defra asap to let them know so thanks for that.

what is more worrying is i had a good look at him this after noon and his left pupil is cloudy and gray! i rang the vets back and told them and they said this could be a big problem and MIGHT be perm brain damage but also may be just due to being hit by the car, but they didant want to really take it any further and suggested i ring the rspca, well no disrespect but having called them out for an injured dog a few weeks back and them never phoning back or coming to collect it i feel they wont be much help with a buzzard.

can anyone help with an expert who i can call to ask for vet advice other wise i feel its no quality of life for him to be confined to a stable no matter how nice it is, he needs to be put to sleep or set free but well enough and i dont want to prolong him being kept here if theres no hope.

i am a researching ethologist and understand the problems with confining a wild animal and have rehabed many and set them free to live there normal lives its just buzzards are a new one on me and eyes!!!!:(

Whispers
03-02-2006, 02:59 PM
oh sorry what i ment to add was the head moving is like "scanning" if you know what i mean, he will move head a round slowly and then jump back to the front and then do this again, he does look at me when i enter the stable and he perched on my arm but had to fan out his wings to steady himself.

UKJay74
03-02-2006, 03:32 PM
can anyone help with an expert who i can call to ask for vet advice other wise i feel its no quality of life for him to be confined to a stable no matter how nice it is, he needs to be put to sleep or set free but well enough and i dont want to prolong him being kept here if theres no hope.




hi debbie are you looking for another avian vet i.e raptor specialist or a falconer in your area ?? whichever it may be where do you hail from so someone could maybe help

ScotsFalconer
03-02-2006, 03:36 PM
welcome but can i give u a bit of practicle advice; give the bird to a rehab or a falconer who knows wat to do.

MickeyDredd
03-02-2006, 04:36 PM
oh sorry what i ment to add was the head moving is like "scanning" if you know what i mean, he will move head a round slowly and then jump back to the front and then do this again, he does look at me when i enter the stable and he perched on my arm but had to fan out his wings to steady himself.

Doesnt sound too good to me.

Also a BOP in shock should not be on your arm, it should be given minimum disturbance.

Whispers, you have done well to help this buzzard but I feel it needs more knowledgable care - do you know any falconers near you who might help?

Add you area to your details and someone on here may be close who could take a look.

JB29
03-02-2006, 05:31 PM
You need a vet. It doesn't need to be a specialist to deal with blindness and other major damage. The vet you are dealing with sounds as though he needs a wake up call. They have a duty to deal with injured animals etc and most definitely need to be the ones to put the bird down if that is what is required. Is there not another vet in the area that you can contact?

BillyBird
03-02-2006, 07:33 PM
You need a vet. It doesn't need to be a specialist to deal with blindness and other major damage. The vet you are dealing with sounds as though he needs a wake up call. They have a duty to deal with injured animals etc and most definitely need to be the ones to put the bird down if that is what is required. Is there not another vet in the area that you can contact?Hi debs well done so far for helping the bird, you have been given some really good advice, contact defra, find a really good vet etc etc, it may be an idea to find out who your area wildlife policeman is too so that in future you can inform him quickly if you have another wild prey bird come in, and always cover your back by getting a letter from the vet if the bird is not fit for immediate release. and above all do as advised find a local reputable falconer who can perhaps get to you quickly and who would probably be able to better recognise symptoms or damage more immediately.

Whispers
04-02-2006, 08:05 AM
hi there,
I did manage to speak to a lady called Emma who works at a bird of prey rescue and she is on the end of the phone should I need her, he seems much better today bit more alert and willing.

I fully understand your concerns about giving him to someone who has more experience but I have run an animal rescue and sanctuary for 7 years, and have over 115 animals of my own, buzzards are new to me but I am a quick learner and if the vets had a problem finding someone now it may happen again and so I want/need to learn, hence why I came here to ask for advice, and you have all been great, I am starting to realise how passionate people are about these birds and other birds of prey, my 14 year old son is also very keen to learn and has been searching the internet for more helpful advice, I am more then willing to give him to someone and this lady Emma offered to come all the way down and collect him, but she did say the same I need to learn and wanted me to keep going with him, I have found another vet and has going to see him later on today, so all positive stuff, I will keep you all posted on what happens if thatís ok?

I am in north Devon by the way if anyone is near they can pop down or pm me for address details.

Scruff
04-02-2006, 10:22 AM
well I'm not near to you, but you seem to be doing the right thing and the rescue raptor lady should offer great support. another vet was a good idea! vets have an obligation to treat wildlife for free and must offer pain relief for free too. it sounds like the bird could do with anti inflams : Metacam oral (you can syringe this inside the food) it helps to take down any swelling, and could help with the head injury and behind the eyes, if swelling is affecting them. possible needing baytril also.
but I cant see the bird so just going on what you mentioned about it.

I wish you luck anyhoo, hope he gets better.

Whispers
04-02-2006, 03:20 PM
hope this comes out? took this photo just now so you can see the image of the eye and the cloudyness.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a386/DDESTECROIX/buzzyeye.jpg

hes also trying to grab food from me now which i hope is a good sign, my other half is getting us a dead rabbit to see if that helps also, still moving his head around but only after being handled, which i am keeping to a min.

Whispers
04-02-2006, 03:24 PM
opps ment to say, that new vet cant come till tomo now but is coming in his free time and not on surgery time! nice bloke:grin:

Sprout
07-02-2006, 08:11 PM
PM me if you need any advice. Diff to say without seeing it but a lot of wild BOP hit by cars are already suffering from some other problem that has caused them to come to the side of the road in desperation and not seen the car quick enough to move out of the way. Eye problems are fairly common in injured wild BOP - without seeing it is imposs to say but looks suggestive of a cataract but could easily be inflammation in the uveal tract and the camera making it look like a cataract.

PaulR
22-02-2006, 02:03 PM
Hi Debbie

I have a common buzzard in at the raptor trust at the moment and he eats chicks with raptor essentials suppliment sprinkled on the food. When wild birds do not recognise chicks we tear open the skin so that the bird can see the flesh inside. This usually works with tawneys, barn owls and little owls quite well.
As for the cloudy eye it sounds to me that it may well be blind in that eye and along with the head scanning sounds like severe concussion through being hit by a vehicle.
Many of our owls are put to sleep if they do not have 100% in all their faculties because in the wild they will not be able to catch prey and would eventually starve to death.
The best expert around for raptors is Neil Forbes at the Clockhouse Veterinary Practise in Glostershire. Their website provides some valuable info.

Hope this helps a little
Paul R www.raptortrust.org

Whispers
24-02-2006, 04:55 PM
Hi Paul, and everyone else, thanks for the advice, i am thankfull to say that the buzzard is doing really well and eating on his own and moving around and using his wings alot, he was put on antibiotics for 5 days and the cloudy eye has all but cleared up which is great news, i am now in contact with a bird of prey expert a few miles from us and he will be giving me some lessions on these birds and others in the next few months.

thanks again for all your advice

debbie xx

Talon
24-02-2006, 04:59 PM
thats great news.and weldone.

PaulR
24-02-2006, 06:00 PM
Hi Debbie

Great news about the buzzard, well done

Fawkes
24-02-2006, 06:15 PM
Just a point no one has mentioned - you have had this bird nearly a month now?
You should make sure he is fit and capable of hunting before release. I have found many rehab organisations tend to neglect this with their raptors, considering a simple chase around the pen will keep them fit enough to hunt. In my opinion this is where falconry comes in - a wild bird trained for falconry and then released soon regains his wildness, a bird maintained wild but unfit and released soon dies.

PaulR
24-02-2006, 09:07 PM
Hi Fawkes

Fawkes you have a very good point. Any bird that we have in for the sort of time that Debbie has had the buzzard and longer are temporarily jessed and got fit as quickly as possible to enable release in the best condition with the minimum of handling.
Most of the birds we have are short term and usually go back within days rather than weeks but this is certainly an important consideration.

Fawkes
25-02-2006, 05:51 AM
Paul - good to hear some rehab places have got the right ideas :D
Good luck with the buzzard, Debbie - sounds like he's in good hands.