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Home Health Injured owls nurtured back to health in Timaru

Injured owls nurtured back to health in Timaru

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NZ Raptor Trust chairman Ron Lindsay with Albie who was picked up in Albury.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

NZ Raptor Trust chairman Ron Lindsay with Albie who was picked up in Albury.

Timaru man Ron Lindsay has had a couple of boarders staying at his home this summer –Albie and his fellow owl mate Andy.

The two German owls were found injured and in a weakened state and have spent recent weeks being nurtured back to health by Lindsay, a member of the New Zealand Raptor Trust, an organisation which cares for sick, injured or orphaned raptors before releasing them back to the wild.

Since Albie and Andy arrived at his home, it had been full-on for Lindsay.

“Some take a lot of care. You’ve got to get up in the night and feed them when they come in.”

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This meant for three days and three nights every three hours, Lindsay was up feeding them – he first gave them fluids and as they improved, soft food.

Albie and Andy are both German owls, a small species originally brought into New Zealand to frighten birds off vines and fruit trees, Lindsay said.

Albie is well on the way to recovery.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

Albie is well on the way to recovery.

They became established on the east coast of the South Island. Significant populations exist in the Timaru Botanic Gardens and Timaru cemetery.

Hagley Park in Christchurch has quite a number also. They like sitting in tall pine trees.

“Albie got blown out of his nest by big winds we had; he was only a couple of inches high at the time. People in Albury gave us a ring, and we picked him up.”

Albie back on his perch.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

Albie back on his perch.

Albie has been under Lindsay’s care since December 7 and has made a rapid recovery after being found severely dehydrated and malnourished.

Lindsay expected to release Albie back to his Albury home environment soon.

The prognosis for Andy was a little more serious.

“Andy will be here for a while longer.”

Andy the rescued owl still has his wing bandaged and faces a long recovery in Timaru.

Supplied

Andy the rescued owl still has his wing bandaged and faces a long recovery in Timaru.

Andy turned up at the back door of a St Andrews’ couple looking sad and sorry with a broken wing, an eye infection and also being dehydrated and starving.

He was fed by a crop needle and given antibiotics and painkillers. The broken wing has remained bandaged, but he is back walking around and the outlook looks favourable.

“The bone that’s broken is not big.”

Lindsay said he found the work satisfying.

“I really love the birds.”

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