My friend and colleague Andrew Hodgkinson and his dad Roy rescued a little baby kestrel chick whilst on their evening walk in the woodlands in St Albans a few weeks ago. They named him Kevin the Kestrel.
Kevin had fallen down a long way from his nest high above in the trees and they thought a fox or other animal might get him so they carried him in a little plastic bag (with lots of air holes) and he fell asleep as they carefully took him home. They telephoned ahead to Andrews mum, Joanna, and she spent time getting food ready and tearing out strips of paper to make a little bed for him. The wildlife centre was closed by the time they got him so they fed him with a small amount of raw chicken so he wouldn’t get hungry (Joanna thought this might be the nearest thing they had in the house to the raw mice he’d eat in the wild). They took him in the next day to St Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital in Buckinghamshire where he underwent a 30-minute operation to fix his broken leg. Vets at the hospital used a hypodermic needle and dental glue in to set the broken leg. The vets estimated he was only four weeks old.
Andrew told me that they rang back St Tiddlywinks Animal Hospital a week or so later to find out how he was getting on and the staff said that Kevin was very tenacious and now he’d got his leg in a plaster he was in a massive strop! He uses his good leg to hold the chopped mice he is fed and tugs at them with his beak. They say that he is making a good recovery and is likely to be released into the wild in September.
I saw a few stories in the press about Kevin (he was featured in the Metro, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and some others) but none of them mentioned the names of the rescuers. Andrews Dad Roy took these photos (the ones in the paper obviously feature photos of him with his little plaster cast on) so thanks to Andrew, Roy & Joanna for letting me feature their story of little Kevin here on my blog 🙂
Click the images to see them larger
Edit: actually Kevin was found in Ridgeway, in Oxfordshire near Watlington, not St Albans as reported.