Not only have the new hens found that there is always a supply of food on my kitchen windowsill, a Pine Marten now visits each evening and finishes what the birds have left. I managed to take these pictures, albeit they are not very clear.
I am creating pictures using only feathers. These I collect from birds at the sanctuary when they are molting. All proceeds from the sale of these pictures are going towards the funds needed for the hospital facility. Click onto Feather Pictures to see some examples.
Please contact me if you would like further information on: 0860273337 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My main goal at the moment is to have a fully equipped hospital facility with thermostatically controlled cages and an isolation area. I need a building that is fully insulated and large enough to house both cages off the ground and holding bays for injured or sick birds such as ducks, geese or hens and a treatment area.
I will have to rely on fundraising and donations and hopefully selling some of my feather pictures, seen in the gallery. I will be showing more examples shortly. I have been blessed this week with a donation by an anonymous person, which will go a long way towards achieving this aim, and I thank them most sincerely. I am very overwhelmed by their kindness. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Steve and Diane for their hard work in their fundraising.
It would be wonderful to have the hospital fully operational before the start of next winter so if anyone has any fundraising ideas, I would be very grateful.
In March I gave a home to 20 ex battery hens. They had a very long journey from Wexford and were exhausted when they arrived in the evening. The following morning some were very stressed and huddled in a corner but some of the more adventurous souls took a few tentative steps outside. They have a field which is secured with high fencing enabling them to enjoy the freedom they have never known.
A few weeks have passed and they are all well and not only enjoy their field but quite like to inspect my kitchen and my garden, which is now more or less denuded of anything resembling a flower. A couple of them have also discovered there are tasty treats in my bird feeders on my windowsill. It is becoming quite a challenge walking around my garden because I will suddenly discover a large hole that has been carefully designed as a dust bath. A happy outcome for all of them.
This little Swallow was brought in after a young boy rescued him from his cat’s mouth. He had no obvious injuries but was given medication as a precaution against infection and I put him in a heated hospital cage to rest and recover from shock.
Unfortunately he cannot fly, albeit his wings are not damaged. He may have injured a muscle or just be badly bruised. Hopefully, given time, he will be able to take to the skies again.
Four Thrush babies were brought in after being abandoned in their nest in an apple tree. The nest was low down in the tree and it may be the parents were taken by a predator of some sort.
I have them in a heated hospital cage and they are thriving. One is smaller and is not gaining weight as quickly as would be expected but is eating well, so maybe he is just a late developer.
My loyal companion Sunny who has shared my life for the last seventeen years.
Maisie, Super Nanny hen, who has been the Boss for five years and
Esperanza, who endured such a lot, resulting in her leg being amputated and was a huge part of my life for the last couple of years.
A New Year dawns with hopes for the happiness and well being of all the resident birds here and any new arrivals that may come in.
2014 was an incredibly busy and tiring year. There was a constant intake of injured and abandoned birds, ending the year with 30 battery hens that could not be re homed normally because they were either too sick or had leg fractures.
142 casualties were successfully treated and were able to be released back into the wild. Some are unable to be released and are now in their forever home at Little Wings. There are now 170 birds in my care. The little ones that were not able to be saved were made as comfortable as possible and were warm and safe, thus saving them from ending their lives being killed by predators or starving.
Keeping the cost of running the sanctuary is an ongoing challenge. Food and electricity bills are frightening. Sick birds need constant heat. Then there is bedding, medications,Vet bills and the up keep and maintenance of the outhouses and land.
With the 1000 euro the fundraiser raised in October and donations, I was able to get 6 foot fox proof fencing in another field. The cost of this was 2000 euro. It was not as big an area as I had hoped but that would have cost another 2000 euro and there was just not enough in the pot.
I am holding another fundraiser in a few weeks to try to attain this goal.
I had great news just before Christmas that I had been given the animal welfare grant from the Ministry of Agriculture.I was awarded 1000 euro.
I would like to say a special thank you to those who were so kind to donate to make it possible to get some fencing done.
Amparo, Nuala, Lough Bo kennels,Niamh, Sue, Alan and Lottie for the grain, Agnes West, Dundalk Rotary club and to all that give me encouragement when things get a bit overwhelming !
My sincere thanks to Susie Brown the sanctuary Vet. JUST THE BEST !!!
I run the sanctuary entirely on my own. I cannot afford to pay anyone to help and cannot afford to pay for insurance to cover volunteers working. It is all time consuming with no days off at all, and very often day and night during the summer months.
However the satisfaction of helping any bird in need, far outweighs the commitment needed. It is a huge privilege to gain the trust of these beautiful creatures and I think I have the best vocation in the world.
My constant companion, Autumn, is the best comforter and baby sitter of the birds that I could wish for, as you can see from the photograph. We are a team.
May 2015 be a kind and healthy year for you all.