Alex the Budgie

I would like to tell you a story about a little Budgie that was bought for a young boy from a pet store. His parents assumed the Budgie was a young healthy bird, suitable as a companion for their son. They had only had him three days when he became ill. They took him to Susie, who is the Sanctuary Vet. Susie rang me to say the Budgie, who they had named Alex, was in fact an old bird and was unresponsive and actually moribund when she examined him.
Susie suggested they bring him to me to see if anything could be done but she did not think he would survive. When the family arrived and I took a look at Alex, I too felt he was near death. He was on his side and still unresponsive.
I had a heated hospital cage prepared for him and made him comfortable. After tending to other birds I returned to check on him, not expecting him to still be alive. He was and was also trying to move. The warmth had revived a little energy. I decided to give him a little intensive care formula and gently moved his little legs to aid circulation and see what, if any, response I could see. His right side was very weak and everything was suggesting he had suffered a stroke.
To my amazement Alex survived the night and was trying very hard to move. I was keeping him hydrated and nourished with the formula and gently encouraging movement in his legs.
I was spending every spare minute talking to him because Budgies are flock birds and do not like being on their own. Alex spent a great deal of time sleeping and everything was a real struggle for him.
After eight days Alex was able to move about. He could not perch and when not moving he laid flat. He was still very weak.
Gradually Alex grew stronger and made a big step forward when he started to perch in an upright normal position. I introduced another gentle Budgie named Bobbie and they are now inseparable.
One morning whilst I was cleaning out their cage, Alex had another stroke. It was not as major as his first one but he could not balance for a day. The following day he regained his grip and appeared to have suffered no other adverse affects.
Since then Alex has gone from strength to strength and now enjoys playing with toys and is such a cheerful little chap.
The chance of him suffering another stroke is quite high but each day is a bonus and with a good varied diet, plenty of stimulation and the company of the new love of his life, may he continue to thrive.
(Pic below) Alex on arrival, moribund, unresponsive
(Pic below) 6 weeks later, beak trimmed to normal shape and good weight gain.
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(Pic below) Happy chap!!
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A baby Sparrow’s journey.

IMG_7534 This little nestling was brought in by Peter after he found him abando0nded in his garden. I immediately put him in a heated hospital cage and gave him a feed. That was the start of a very tiring few weeks because he needed feeding every half an hour up until late evening, with each day starting in time to feed him at 6am when he started shouting for food. Peter had named him Condor. If his size didn’t fit the name, his appetite certainly did !! So started our journey together. Because I work entirely on my own, Condor had to come everywhere with me, travelling on a hot water bottle in the car, when I had to get supplies. Condor continued to thrive and when it was time for his release I had mixed emotions. Joy that he had matured into a very strong healthy little chap but, as always, when I release any bird, the concerns of him surviving in the wild with all the challenges wild birds face. I need not have worried at all. Condor has not only survived but decided he would have bed and breakfast here. Every afternoon he comes into one of the sheds where he stays overnight.  He has breakfast in the morning and then spends the day going from the bird table, hen food, anything he can eat in fact ! Condor very often travels around the Sanctuary perched on the top of my head, whilst I am doing my chores. He has it all worked out.IMG_0694IMG_1554

Sir Edgar

IMG_0442imageSir Edgar arrived at the sanctuary on the 2nd July. He had been shot in the side and the wing. The rest of his family were killed.  Someone then kept him for a month without seeking Veterinary help for him. This resulted in Edgar’s injuries healing in an unnatural way. He will never be able to fly. When Edgar first arrived he was absolutely terrified of everything. I have a very large open enclosure for him with trees and a shed he can go in if he chooses to. During the last 4 months Edgar has slowly gained confidence and physical strength. Not long after he arrived he became very ill and I did not expect him to survive. He needed intensive care and thankfully he slowly recovered. He had an infection from one of his wounds which had been slowly debilitating him before he even arrived here. If I sit in his enclosure he will now come and stand a foot or two away from me. He doesn’t trust me enough to let me touch him or take food from me but Ravens are the least social of all the  Corvids, so I would not expect anything more at this stage. He will not tolerate anyone else approaching his enclosure. He is one of the most magnificent birds I have had the privilege  to work with.

Battery hens

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.

Kojak, our new family member

We have our first Turkey at Little Wings. I have named him Kojak. He is a baby and was brought in as an abuse case, through the County Vet.

Kojak had been acquired  by someone who then proceeded to keep him in disgusting conditions with no food and filthy wet muck as water. He was literally starved.

When he came in he did nothing but drink all day. He is very anaemic  but a few weeks of good diet will restore him to good health.

For the first 2 days he was housed in the aviary to settle him and let the hens and geese get used to him. He is a big boy and will get much bigger.

On the third day I released him to join the others and he settled immediately, and the same evening was feeding alongside them. He joined them in their shed that night but the second night he decided to roost on the shed roof ! Since then though he has slept in the shed with everyone else.


I would like to say a very special thank you to Michelle Maitland and Mags Cuney for raising 415 euro from the Flora women’s mini marathon. A huge thank you to Martin Whelan, Noirin McGoldrick, Tina Flaherty, Donna Harte/Gilligan and Michelle and Mags for their very generous support and to everyone who so kindly donated.

I am saving to be able to fence a field with fox proof fencing. You have  helped towards that goal.

Thank you all and blessings from Little Wings for making a difference.

Colin’s story

I received a phone call from a lady who asked if I was able to look after a Cockerel chick for a week , whilst she was on holiday. As it was only a chick I agreed.

They arrived and I was introduced to Colin. I took the chick and then watched, somewhat amazed, as the lady unloaded Colin’s luggage. First, a safe enclosure for him, which was great. Next, a large box with his food, shavings and hay. But then, and this is what left me at a loss for words, ( some might say at last ) another large box with his blankets and a tiny hot water bottle for him. Apparently Colin would only sleep if he was covered in his blanket. I immediately thought of Mrs Pumphrey and Tricky Woo from the series All creatures great and small. At this point I was still trying to recover my power of speech and felt a coffee might help. Whilst we stopped for this, the lady told me how she had acquired Colin.

Colin had been found on his own in a field the lady had been camping in, so she literally saved his life. He then spent 3 weeks with her by which time this lady was well and truly his Mum. He didn’t like to be away from her.

I put Colin in the shed my disabled hens go into at night but he was not happy with hens as company. It was very warm in the shed and he didn’t need extra heat but I found myself filling his hot water bottle and then , whilst muttering to myself that I couldn’t believe I was doing this, covered him with his blanket ! and he settled !!

The following day it became evident very quickly that Colin didn’t think he was a bird. He was frightened of the 3 hens I had put him with and was desperate to follow me, in fact it was a work of art to get out of the enclosure without him. He was like the road runner. He was really lost and I kept a close eye on him.

The following day he did something which I found disturbing, he attacked the Crows that had come down to eat the leftover crumbs. This tiny chick had no social skills with either his own or other species.

In the meantime a hen that had previously come in to me, after being starved and abused, had hurt her leg, so I  moved her into the enclosure where Colin was. The following day I was watching Colin, and when the Crows came he tried to attack one again, and this hen got between him and the bird. I thought it was coincidence but she did this when ever Colin launched his attacks, which he also did towards the Pigeons. She literally took him under her wing and that night , when I went out to switch the light off, Colin was snuggled into her.

Colin seemed much more settled and they spent all their time together, but then, unfortunately, his new Mum had some sort of stroke and sadly she died yesterday. This dear little hen had been the turning point for Colin. He was very unsettled but happily has now attached himself to another hen and I am confident, one day, he will be able to join the others and have the pleasure of the fields and new friends. I refer to Colin as a he but think he may well be a she.

During this time the lady decided that, because of her busy lifestyle, it would be kinder to let Colin stay at the sanctuary and learn to be a chicken. However Colin is a very lucky bird to have been found by this very kind lady, who gave him the gift of life.



On the 28th May a baby Wood pigeon was brought to me. Two had been found but unfortunately the other baby had died. This one was duly named Woody.

The first couple of days were a little worrying, as feeding was difficult and her rate of  breathing was a concern , however she soon got the hang of feeding from a specially shaped spoon and on the third day was breathing normally and very hungry.

Woody continued to thrive and I have a large indoor facility that birds can learn to fly so she gained strength and confidence.

The main problem I had was encouraging her to feed on her own as her parents would still be feeding her even when she had learnt to fly. It took a lot of coaxing and a few days but she would get very vocal when she saw me and was then eating readily.

I took Woody back to the area she was found and released her on 28th June.

Here are pictures of Woody as a baby, fully feathered,038080 and finally released back into the wild.