Last year, local bird lovers went beyond breaking point as they worked around the clock to help injured and orphaned birds following the closures of wildlife sites in the wake of the Avian Flu crisis.
Avian Flu swept through Sussex last May leaving hundreds of adult birds dead, and their offspring abandoned. Volunteers stepped in to rescue distressed birds, including pigeons. Once rescued they were sent to rehab centres across the UK and later released to live happy healthy lives.
Justin King, who runs the East Sussex rescue group; and Nerys Deutsch, who runs the West Sussex group called ‘The South Coast & Sussex Bird/Gull Volunteer Network’ were among those called out to help with rescue and rehabilitation of injured and malnourished birds.
King said: “.Once avian flu had been confirmed, we went into overdrive. Within two weeks we drew up strict measures and brought in fosterers who worked with us to turn their homes into isolation areas”.
In Sussex, Avian flu has died down slightly, but has spread to waterfowl and remains rife in other areas of the UK.
“Last year took us by surprise,” King continued, “but this year plans are underway to make sure everyone knows the regulations before handling each casualty. We know that at least three sites in Sussex are expanding their isolation units, one of which was partially funded by our fundraiser.
Sussex’s rescue groups desperately need more volunteers, drivers and rescuers. Anyone who can offer outdoor spaces, ideally an aviary, to house healthy quarantined abandoned chicks is greatly appreciated.
“We are funded by the public so if you can donate please do, even cat or dog food is helpful and what we don’t use we pass onto charities.”
If you would like to volunteer or support the team this summer, please look below: