Children’s toy used to rescue Bird of Prey!

A children's toy has been used to rescue a sparrowhawk trapped in the warehouse of City Electrical Factors in Bell Lane, Uckfield, last night.

Volunteer rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) based at Whitesmith, were called out yesterday afternoon after a sparrowhawk flew inside the warehouse in Uckfield. Rescuer Kathy Martyn attended on site but due to the height of the roof, decided it would be best to try a night time capture.

"It's well known in the rescue world that sparrowhawks won't fly in the dark. The normal procedure is to wait till it is dark, turn the lights on, make the bird fly then turn the light off and normally the bird then flutters to the floor, but it is still very difficult to find them in the dark and they don't always reach the floor if there are other objects close by where they can land easily" said Kathy.

Back at Christmas Kathy's gave her partner (and WRAS founder) Trevor Weeks a simple children's night vision viewer. "I really didn't know if this toy was going to be any good to be honest but I thought it might come in useful so bought one for Trevor for Christmas" said Kathy.

As a result of using this children's toy Trevor was able to follow the normal procedure of making the sparrowhawk fly, but once the lights were switched off, the night vision viewer was used to locate and catch the bird. Trevor was able to give directions to fellow rescuers and the bird was caught really easily and quickly with little stress to the bird.

"I was amazed at just how good it was and how much quicker and easier it was to deal with the rescue as a result, I'm seriously going to suggest to the committee that we get another couple of these to go in the ambulances for future rescues" said Trevor, "it's the best Christmas present I've ever been given!"

The sparrowhawk was caught about 10pm last night (Tuesday 10th May) and was taken to WRAS's Casualty Care Centre overnight and then released in the morning outside of City Electrical Factors in Bell lane, Uckfield, where it flew off well into the woodland near by.

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Press Contacts: Trevor Weeks, Director, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958
City Electrical Factors, 01825 760800

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