A brand new aviary that allows birds of prey to recuperate in style has recently welcomed its first residents.
Seven Tawny Owls and a Sparrowhawk have moved into the enclosure at HART Wildlife Rescue, an Alton-based charity that provides a rescue, treatment, and rehabilitation service to local wildlife, and was made possible thanks to a grant.
“We are so thankful for the grant donated to us from the Mrs D M France-Hayhurst Charitable Trust,” said Lauren Todd, hospital manager.
“It really means that the birds needs can be met at a much higher level than before, and that we can fully test their ability to fly before their release – which is something we have not been able to do before.
“We also really appreciate the efforts of Bob Nash, who actually built the enclosure and finished it to the high standard that it is today.”
As the charity relies entirely on donations and grants, this has been a big project for HART and the aviary has been specially designed with the needs of birds of prey in mind, resulting in a natural, yet stimulating environment to allow rescued birds to recuperate and get ready to be released back into the wild.
The arrival of the new enclosure has also meant other animals benefit.
Where the old aviary once stood, the space is set to be transformed into a larger enclosure for animals that are moving from the hospital to the outside area in preparation for their own release.
This also means increased capacity in the hospital for animals, allowing the charity to rescue and treat more injured animals in need.
HART Wildlife Rescue has treated over 20,00 animals in the last 20 years and they deal with well over a thousand casualties annually.
The Tawny Owls and Sparrowhawk are recovering well and getting ready for release.