Wild Animal Suffering (Republished)

Jackdaw Faulty
Editor’s note: This post has originally been posted on 9th April 2018, and has now been updated and republished.

Many people have a naive and rosy view of the kind of lives animals are living in the wild. Some people strongly believe, and this includes sometimes wildlife rescuers and rehabbers, conservationists and people who think of themselves as nature or animal lovers, that non-human animals living in the wild live in some kind of paradise. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Animals living in the wild live lives that are far from idyllic, and most of them have to deal with the reality of constant threat of tremendous suffering. Although many people accept the fact that animals experience suffering, the willingness to help, to minimise or eliminate suffering, remains rather an exceptional act of kindness. Also, for reasons remaining mostly unclear, many people assume that wild animals do cope better with suffering than domestic animals or our beloved pets. However, there is no reason or scientific foundation for this assumption.1

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Please keep your bird bath topped up

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Please keep your bird bath topped up

Birds need water for drinking and bathing. Water is particularly important during the winter when natural supplies may be frozen and in dry or hot weather during the summer when water can be hard to find.

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Please keep your bird bath clean

Please clean your birdbath regularly and change the water. A layer of algae, dead leaves or bird droppings will soon build up, so give the bath a thorough clean every week. Scrub the sides and bottom of your bird bath to remove algae and other dirt.

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Thank you very much. #corvid_isle
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Please do not trim your hedge during nesting season

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Please do not trim your hedge during nesting season

We would recommend to avoid hedge cutting and trimming during the main breeding season, which usually runs throughout March to August each year. This can be weather dependent and some birds may nest outside this time period. Please do always check carefully for active nests prior to cutting.

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Hedge trimming and cutting - the law

It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built, or to intentionally kill, injure or take chicks or adults, or intentionally take or destroy any eggs.

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Thank you very much. #corvid_isle
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Have you found a barely feathered bird?

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Have you found a barely feathered bird?

Unfeathered or barely feathered baby birds will need your help, as they cannot survive by their own. You need to act swiftly, as they will get cold very quickly. Put them into a secure, padded and well ventilated carrier or card board box.

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What shall I do now?

Keep the bird warm and bring it as soon as possible to an experienced bird rescue. If you are sure that the bird is warm, healthy and uninjured, and that you can get him or her safely back into the nest where it came from, then you can try this first. Do not forget to watch the nest closely from a safe distance to make sure that the parents are still in attendance and continue to care for the rescued bird. If there is any doubt, do not waste time and contact your local rescue immediately to get advice how to proceed.

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Please do not...

...put any food or water into the box. Please do not attempt to feed the bird, as birds cannot digest food when being cold. Hatchlings and nestlings are prone to aspirate and can easily suffocate. They will require a specialist diet to thrive, to be given after being sufficiently warmed up and rehydrated.

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Thank you very much. #corvid_isle
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Have you found a bird which has been attacked by a cat or dog?

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Have you found a bird which has been attacked by a cat or dog?

The saliva of cats and dogs contains Pasteurella multocida bacteria, which cause fatal infections in birds, mammals and reptiles within a few hours, if not treated with appropriate antibiotics as soon as possible.

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What shall I do now?

Keep the bird safe and warm and get in touch immediately with your local wildlife rescue or rehabber. Please do not release a bird without obvious signs of an injury. A tiny scratch or puncture wound is enough to seed the potentially fatal infection.

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Thank you very much. #corvid_isle
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