Birds of prey make 'full recovery' after being ploughed into by SUV

Kelly from Runham Wildlife Rescue

Kelly, MD of Runham Wildlife Rescue, helped care for and revive the owl and buzzard who were victims of a road traffic collision near Bungay - Credit: Runham Wildlife Rescue

Two birds of prey who were deliberately injured by an SUV driver and rescued by horrified onlookers have managed to make a miraculous recovery.

Laura Hines, 35 from Bungay, was driving with her husband and two sons along a snowy Ilketshall Saint Lawrence road on Monday, February 8 when they stopped to watch a buzzard tussling with a barn owl in its beak.

Hines Family

From left to right: Neil, Chloe, Liam and Laura Hines, the family that rescued the birds of prey - Credit: Laura Hines

But as they pulled over to watch the "fascinating interaction" an SUV driver "purposefully swerved" into the animals.

The family rushed the birds to safety at Runham Wildlife Rescue (RWR) - where they recovered despite the odds.

Ms Hines said: "We were watching this amazing spectacle when this car just ploughed into them.


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"We couldn't leave them there because birds like that deserve to be protected.

"It was dark and we didn't get the car registration number, otherwise we'd have reported it to police."

injured buzzard in blanket

The rescued buzzard wrapped up after it was struck by a car - Credit: Laura Hines

Barn Owl

Liam holding the rescued barn owl after it was hit by a car - Credit: Laura Hines

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Covering the now-motionless creatures with blankets, the Hines family took them to the nearby Morrisons supermarket, where they'd arranged to meet local bird of prey enthusiasts Megan Warner and her dad Mike over Facebook.

Ms Warner, 21, said: "We drove straight over from Lowestoft to collect the birds and took them to RWR.

"We have birds of prey ourselves and were appalled by the needless cruelty on display here."

Kelly, 31, who manages RWR at Rollesby but does not want to reveal her full name, said the buzzard and barn owl came to her in "pretty bad shape".

injured barn owl

The barn owl came to RNW in "pretty bad shape", with several lacerations to the face and was unable to stand - Credit: RWR

buzzard

The buzzard arrived completely shaken up: he was very malnourished and his feathers were tacky and dirty from the RTA - Credit: RWR

"Both were treated for shock, but the owl was in a worse condition. He had abrasions on the face, was unable to stand and had concussion", she said.

"They were given fluid therapy and tube-fed formulated food before making a full recovery.

"The barn owl has been released after assessment, and the buzzard is scheduled for release as soon as he has gained weight."

healthy owl

Days later, the owl had made a full recovery after receiving round the clock care from RWR - Credit: RWR

buzzard

The buzzard after making a recovery - Credit: RWR

Elliott Simpson, the rescue centre's vet, said: "Road traffic collisions involving birds of prey are almost always fatal. The fact that two birds were involved and are now doing well is something of a miracle."

Though RWR have had a tough time during lockdown - with flooding, donations drying up and an eviction from their previous site - Kelly said "any help" from the public would be appreciated.

"It's only through the public that we can keep caring for our local wildlife", she said. 

Megan Warner

Megan, who is studying to work in wildlife conservation, says there's "always more to learn" about birds of prey - and that we should always try to protect them if we find one in harm's way - Credit: Mike Warner

Tawny owl

The Warner's tawny owl, called Tony - Credit: Mike Warner

American kestrel

Chester the American Kestrel - one of the birds of prey looked after by the Warner family - Credit: Mike Warner


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