When I heard that Alison was on the phone I wondered what she had.

Alison is one of our couriers and over the years she has brought in a variety of birds including pigeons, ducks and swans.

I was surprised to hear that she had picked a buzzard off the road. She’d taken it home, tried to feed it, but the buzzard wasn’t co-operating. Was it ok if she brought it to Hessilhead? 

At first glance the buzzard looked good. Perfect feathers, bright-eyed and inquisitive. When we transferred the large bird to a cardboard box it was lively enough to try and foot Alison.

A few hours later there was a difference. The bird was standing in a cage, head down, almost touching the floor. An hour after that she was lying down.

We gave the buzzard fluids by crop tube, some anti-inflammatory drugs for concussion and tucked her in a cosy box for the night. I was surprised to see her still alive by morning. Fluids again next day and the same the following morning. She was looking better. Head up when we opened the box. It was time for her to move into a cage.

This week we have been hand feeding the buzzard. She takes the food well, swallows readily, but we are not sure that she sees properly.

Sometimes she walks into the wall of her cage. We hope that she may be tempted to eat meat with a scattering of pigeon feathers as a disguise.