Sparrowhawks are not good patients.

They are extremely nervous birds that panic whenever anyone goes near the cage, and with a high metabolism they lose weight easily.

When a male sparrowhawk was brought to us recently, we knew that saving his life wouldn’t be easy.

The bird was emaciated. He came to us from a vet practice in Glasgow, where he had been taken after flying into a window.

Window strikes are common for this species. The birds see reflected trees and sky and think they can fly straight through.

For the first 24 hours we gave the sparrowhawk fluids by crop tube. This involves sliding the tube down the throat and allowing the rehydration fluid to dribble out slowly.

Next day we hand fed small pieces of meat, and over the next few days the bird got stronger. He was moved to a cage but didn’t eat the food that was offered.

We continued with hand feeds, reluctant to let him lose any of the weight he had gained.

Male sparrowhawks are much smaller than females, often as much as a third less in weight. Hence they are often described as tiercels, meaning a third smaller than their mate.

Three weeks later and our tiercel is self feeding. He is a good weight and his eye that was cloudy is responding to eye drops twice a day.

He will need time in an aviary to regain his strength, but we are hopeful that he will return to the wild.