Submitted by Steve on 16:34, 17th Feb, 2016 | 0

Last week 2 kestrels were rescued in 2 days.

The first bird now named 'Bradshaw' after the finder who is actually one of our Volunteer Wardens was found stunned in the road and is a young adult.  He was found on Friday on Braye Road and after a few days care he is now ready for release which will be done after all the checks have been completed.

The second bird was rescued on Saturday on L'Ancresse and is a much older bird that was found coated in oil.

The older kestrel has been called 'Andy' and has had the oil washed although will need another and after a few days is doing extremely well and we are also hoping to release Andy when we are sure the beautiful bird of prey is ready and the weather is suitable.

Yvonne Chauvel Senior Animal Care Assistant "Every year we help and rescue around 4 to 7 kestrels but to get two in two days is extremely unusual."

"Their injuries were completely unrelated and we are pleased with their progress and how they are doing and both will be back in the wild where they belong very soon."

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "We have an amazing diverse number of bird species in Guernsey and sadly both these birds were sadly injured by human issues, but thankfully they were kindly rescued and the team here at the GSPCA have done a great job getting them fit enough to get them back to the wild."

"We have seen quite a number of oiled seabirds over the past two months but it is rare to rescue an oiled bird of prey with the last being in 2012."

"It is great that both Andy and Bradshaw will soon be back in the wild and if you would like to donate towards their care or even sponsor a wildlife pen we would love to hear from you or you can get the forms at our Shelter in St Andrews or on our website."

"We are currently appealing for funds to renew the floors in a number of our wildlife areas and you can see much of the details on our wish list page"

To donate towards the animals in our care or download a sponsor form please see the links below.

Some kestrel facts

  • Last year at the GSPCA we rescued a baby kestrel which we called Peter and was released back to the wild
  • Last winter we rescued a kestrel on L'Ancresse called Muriel which one of our volunteers helped release when it was well enough
  • In 2014 we rescued a kestrel from St Peters with an injured eye which after a period of treatment and care was released back in the area
  • In 2012 a kestrel was rescued covered in oil from the Torey Canyon which we called Olive and was released when she was well enough
  • In medieval falconry the kestrel was reserved for the knave, reflecting its lowly status.
  • Inland country kestrels feed almost exclusively on small rodents (particularly voles), but those living in towns will take sparrows instead.
  • Though rodents may be the principal diet, they will also take a wide variety of other prey, including lizards, earthworms, large insects and even bats.
  • Vole numbers affect kestrel numbers: in good vole years more young kestrels are fledged.
  • Kestrels have remarkably keen eyesight even in extremely poor light, allowing them to hunt almost until dark.
  • Kestrels hunt from static perches and by hovering: the latter is far more productive, but uses lots of energy, which is why they hunt mainly from perches during the winter.
  • Hovering gives the kestrel its country name of windhover.
  • Kestrels aren’t as big as they look. An adult weighs on average a mere 220gm, less than half the weight of a red-legged partridge.
  • Our kestrel is one of a large group of similar species, found throughout much of the world, but it has the largest range, breeding through much of Europe, Africa and Asia.
  • Kestrels are Britain’s most widely distributed bird of prey, breeding throughout the mainland and on many offshore islands.
  • Kestrels rarely breed on Shetland: the most recent record was in 1905.
  • Their absence from Shetland may be explained by the absence of voles there.
  • Until recently kestrels were also the UK's most numerous bird of prey, but the buzzard has taken over the No 1 slot.
  • Breeding kestrels like to use old crows’ nests, but they will also use holes in trees, nest boxes and cliff ledges.
  • Most kestrel nest failures occur during incubation; if eggs hatch, then it is most likely that some of the young will fledge.
  • Though not a colonial species, in years when there is an abundance of voles they will sometimes nest within a few metres of each other.
  • The lesser kestrel, which breeds in southern and eastern Europe, is a strictly colonial nester, often found in large colonies.
  • The world’s rarest species of kestrel lives on Mauritius, where it has come perilously close to extinction. There were just eight birds left in the wild 30 years ago, but the number is now close to 1,000.
  • Kestrels have been seen to rob sparrowhawks and both barn and short-eared owls of their prey.
  • The major cause of death among young kestrels is starvation: only 30-40% survive their first year. 

Pop Up Shop at the GSPCA has a new look thanks to Holeshot

Posted by GSPCA on Saturday, 6 February 2016

Bonnie The Seal from karldorfner on Vimeo.

To become an Angel Pen Pal sponsor and support the many animals in our care please download an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor form by clicking here.
To donate to Bonnie the grey seal pup please call 01481 257261, pop along to the Animal Shelter in St Andrews, by post or by clicking the link below.

8 days on and Bonnie the seal pup is doing better than we coul...

8 days on and Bonnie the seal pup is doing better than we could have hoped

Posted by GSPCA on Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Some facts about Grey Seals -

The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus, meaning "hooked-nosed sea pig") is found on both shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a large seal of the family Phocidae or "true seals". It is the only species classified in the genus Halichoerus. Its name is spelled gray seal in the US; it is also known as Atlantic grey seal and the horsehead seal

Grey seal adults may be up to 2.5 metres in length and weigh up to 250kg, with males tending to be larger than females.

Previous seal pups rescued Jethou Bumblebee was 17kg on entry and Hanois 20kg, Eden 18kg and Trinity 15kg which was less than half the 40kg they should have been for their age with Bonnie only 14kg.

Male grey seals reach sexual maturity at 6 years, Females at 3 to 5 years and the latter give birth to their pups in the Autumn and early Winter.

Typically the first British pups are born off the Scillies and Cornwall in August and September and the time of pupping is progressively later as you move clockwise around the British Isles, the latest pups being born off the east coast of Scotland in late December.

All seal pups rescued locally were born early November to late December.

At, birth, grey seal pups weigh about 13 kg. and are covered in long, creamy white hair. A bond is formed between mother and pup at birth, and a mother can recognise her pup from its call and smell. For the first 3 weeks of their lives, pups rarely swim, suckling from their mothers 5 to 6 times a day, for up to 10 minutes at a time. The mothers milk is rich in fat and the pups rapidly put on weight.

The seal pups rescued have all been around two to three weeks when they were brought into the GSPCA.

The mother tends to remain just offshore between suckling bouts and rarely feeds, losing up to a quarter of her body weight before her pup is weaned.

Grey seal pups are weaned after losing their baby coat at 3 to 4 weeks of age. At this point, they weigh 40 to 50 kg; three times their birth weight.

The pups live off these fat reserves whilst learning to feed, which may take several weeks.

The adult females which are called cows become fertile soon after weaning their pups, mating with the adult males which are called bulls, who hold territories during the breeding season and may mate with over half a dozen cows.

Mating can take place on land or in water and pregnancy last for 11.5 months, there being a period of 3.5 months when the fertilised embryo does not attached to the wall of the uterus and its development is arrested ("delayed implantation"). As a result, pups are born at the same time each year. Grey seals moult annually in the spring, 3 to 5 months, after the end of the breeding season. In the wild, males may live for about 25 years, females for about 35 years.

We will of course keep you up to date with Bonnie's progress and keep your eyes open for pictures and videos.

If anyone see's a pup with or without a mum we really do appreciate a call so that we are aware of its location and condition but here is some advice.

A healthy pup looks like a big, stuffed maggot without a neck. However, a thin pup looks sleek (but not bony) and has a visible neck, like a healthy dog.

PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE SEAL. They can give a nasty bite, which will become infected by bacteria that live in a seal’s mouths.

Note: Do not allow dogs or other animals to harass a seal.

If a Seal is scared back into the water, it could then be washed out to sea by strong currents and be lost. You should not put a seal pup back in the sea as it may get into difficulty.

If a Seal pup is sick, thin or injured then we would ask you to contact the GSPCA immediately on 01481 257261 day or night

When reporting an injured, sick or abandoned seal to the GSPCA, please make sure you are able to supply the following information:

  • Exact location; nearest town / village
  • Position on the beach, and state of the tide
  • How long you have observed the pup; any disturbance / risk to it; whether the mother has been seen
  • Any wounds / obvious signs of illness
  • Length/colour/condition.

Caution:- Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal, whether it’s domestic, wild, dead or alive.

To see some of the previous stories follow the links below

Seal Rescue to Save Jethou Bumblebee 25th November 2012

Hanois the grey seal pup rescued on Saturday by GSPCA staff 7th January 2013

Jethou Bumblebee & Hanois the rescued grey seal pups back in the wild 18th April 2013

The Rescue of Trinity the Seal Pup 9th January 2014

Extremely sick and weak Grey Seal Pup rescued at Corbier now at the GSPCA

Posted by GSPCA on Monday, 18 January 2016

To find out how you could help during the GSPCA Purple Week between 11th and 14th, for more details please click here.

Happy Birthday Ella Gidney - a special behind the scenes at the GSPCA as a birthday treat

Posted by GSPCA on Monday, 30 November 2015

To see all of our events, links and fund raisers please click here

Nominations for the CEVA Welfare Awards 2016 are now open - could you nominate someone in...

Posted by GSPCA on Friday, 30 October 2015
To sponsor the many animals in our care please download an Angel Pen Pal & Slovakian Puppy Appeal form by clicking here.

To make a donation please click here

To donate towards the many animals in our care, you can do so by:

Calling: 01481 257261

By post or popping in the Shelter: GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD

Or our Paypal page by clicking the link below

Our Just Giving Page by clicking here.

Or why not become an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor and give each month to help animals in our care by clicking here.

For your business to become a Corporate Angel Pen Pal sponsor please click here.

If you could help towards or new multi purpose building please click here to find out about the Build Partner programme.

If you are looking to adopt an animal and to complete an adoption form please click here. 

If you would like to fund raise or help the GSPCA please contact the GSPCA on 01481 257261 or email [email protected]

To complete our local Guernsey microchip survey -

Create your own user feedback survey

To see all of our events, links and fund raisers please click here

Looking for pet insurance in Guernsey? Check out the GSPCA pet insurance with Rossborough

Posted by GSPCA on Tuesday, 30 June 2015

To find out about our Build Partner programme please click here

GSPCA Build Partner programme at the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey - could your business support the GSPCA and animals in Guernsey - CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility -

To find out how to volunteer for the GSPCA please click here

Volunteering at the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey

To find out about guided tours at the GSPCA please click here

GSPCA Animal Shelter Guided tours in Guernsey

Have you got a GSPCA Hoody, Polo Shirt, Sweat Shirt or T-shirt? If not get yours by clicking here.

To find out about our Events, how to become a Member, Sponsor an Animal Pen, our Wish List, Corporate Sponsorship & Volunteering, , our New Build & Redevelopment Appeal and much more please click here.

There are many ways to support the work of the GSPCA and you can even donate online by clicking the paypal link below.

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

By post cheques payable to 'GSPCA' - GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD

Or by phone 01481 257261.

To find out more regarding our Angel Sponsorship Scheme please click here.

Have you liked us on facebook yet or joined us on twitter?

Like GSPCA Guenrsey Animal Shelter on facebookFollow the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey on twitter

Here is the latest from the GSPCA Twitter feed -

To see a page full of items on our GSPCA Wish List please click here.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options