This week the GSPCA had two calls to help injured birds of prey – one kestrel at the Fairy Ring and one peregrine falcon trapped in netting in St Martin’s.
While the kestrel has been named Oberon and has an injured wing, the peregrine was found to be made of plastic.
Oberon was rescued by GSPCA team member Neil Hughes, who attended in the GSPCA ambulance.
The bird has been checked over and is being treated in the charity’s wildlife unit.
The call to the peregrine falcon was earlier in the day and team member Kevin Beausire headed there in the GSPCA ambulance after the caller said the bird was caught in netting. The team deals with many calls of animals trapped in netting, from hedgehogs to a variety of birds.
GSPCA manager Steve Byrne said the stress it can cause the animal when it tries to escape can cause major injuries and can become a killer.
However, on closer inspection, Mr Beausire’s worries turned to something else as he realised there were no feathers on the bird.
In fact, it was not even a real bird. It was a plastic bird which is often used to scare away pigeons or other birds.
Mr Beausire said: ‘We have helped many birds of prey this year and it is always a worry of what we will find when we are called out.
‘With the bad weather and the time of year, many animals are struggling.’
When he arrived at St Martin’s to rescue the bird, he had all the safety equipment and a basket ready.
‘But as I approached the bird it became quickly obvious that there was nothing that could be done, because it wasn’t even real,’ he said. ‘It was in fact a plastic peregrine.’
Mr Byrne remembered one of the most famous non-events that the GSPCA experienced when a gentleman brought in what he thought was a drowned dead cat found in a puddle. It was a dog hand puppet cuddly toy with its nose missing, covered in mud.