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Could you help keep the aviaries clean at the RSPCA’s Norfolk wildlife hospital?

PUBLISHED: 10:15 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:02 02 November 2017

An owl in the aviaries at the East Winch RSPCA Wildlife Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

An owl in the aviaries at the East Winch RSPCA Wildlife Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

It’s not the most glamourous job in the world. But it brings you up close to some of our best-loved wild birds.

Animal lovers are looking for a volunteer to help keep the aviaries at a wildlife hospital clean.

the RSPCA’s East Winch Wildlife Centre cares for hundreds of wild birds every year including everything from majestic birds of prey to garden birds, pigeons, corvids and water fowl.

Centre staff are already stretched keeping up with the day to day care of all the animals at the centre. They say having extra pairs of hands would be great.

Alison Charles, centre manager, said: “While I realise this doesn’t sound like the most glamorous of volunteering jobs, it is a role which is exceptionally vital in the rehabilitation of the birds in our care.

“The birds have to go into the aviaries prior to release, so that they have a period of what we call hardening off and flight practice. Keeping the aviaries spick and span helps to prevent the spread of disease and this means that the birds are likely to recover quicker and once they are fit and healthy they can be released back to the wild.

“And while it is definitely hard work, there are also rewards, such as having the unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of a wildlife centre as well as being able to see these wonderful birds up close. Plus there is the benefit of knowing that your cleaning has played a vital role in the rehabilitation and release of a wild bird.”

Mrs Charles said the role would involve cleaning and maintaining one block of nine aviaries housing birds of prey and one block of eight aviaries which houses other birds every Thursday morning.

Cleaning would be done while the birds are in the aviary, but with minimal disturbance to them. The cleaning would involve clearing away food, pellets and droppings and changing water.

“This is a physically challenging role and will require volunteers to scrub with a deck brush, use a jet washer and diy equipment, but full training will of course be provided,” she said. “We just hope that someone out there will be able to lend us a couple hours of their time each week to help us. It would really make a tremendous amount of difference and we would be so grateful.”

Anyone who would like to help should email eastwinch@rspca.org.uk.

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