KUŞKOR receive phone calls from all kinds of people and accept lots of different bird species for rehabilitation, particularly during migration and the winter hunting seasons. The past week was very busy and very heart breaking for our volunteers.
A barn owl was reported to us by Fatma Çiğdem Faiz who brought in a barn owl two years ago, which we released successfully following a month long rehabilitation. However, this time the condition of the bird was worse. Its wing was broken very badly and was gangrenous. As the bird would never live in the wild we decided with our Lefkoşa vet, Tayfun Çanakcı of Petzone, to euthanize it. The bird was found in a garden in Geçitkale.
Two days later we received a phone call about a wounded juvenile kestrel found in Girne. Our Girne vet, Petcross, realized that it was very weak and slim. Apparently it hit a wall or some kind of surface badly and it had a wound on top of its beak bleeding into its nostrils and the bird died shortly after being taken into care. Interesting this kestrel was ringed in South Cyprus. We learned from the Greek Cypriot bird NGO Birdlife Cyprus that the bird was one of five chicks saved and rehabilitated by the Greek Cypriot Game Fund and released in Famagusta Region on 31 of August this year.
Only after a couple of days we received a phone call from our Lefkoşa vet Tayfun Çanakcı informing that the Turkısh Cyprıot Hunters Federation had send him a bird of prey whose condition is not good. We quickly went to the clinic and were shocked to see that the bird was a female goshawk, a rarely sighted bird in North Cyprus. It was very heart breaking to learn that it was shot during the one of the few permitted autumn hunting days. The bird had 5 shot in its body, a broken leg, a very badly broken wing, and lots of gangrene through its flight muscle. Unfortunately we had to put this exceptional bird to sleep.
We later received another phone call from Girne Police Department about a wounded nightjar found in Karmi. And unfortunately its condition was very similar to the barn owl and goshawk that we had to put it to sleep at Pet Cross.
On Sept 22nd we received a more promising phone call. Our Girne vet Başak Eminağa at Pet Cross called us about a bird found exhausted in the sea. This beautiful kingfisher was examined and was deemed to be in good condition, but exhausted and possibly dehydrated. It was kept in for two days. It was given water and fish, after which it was much better and was released successfully.
Our success in rehabilitation is totally dependent on the cooperation we have between the two veterinaries; Pet Cross and Pet Zone. These two vets help us totally voluntarily. Many thanks for their contribution.
Most of the time it is very difficult to rehabilitate birds especially if they are shot or have a badly broken wing, which is often the case. However, it is not hopeless. We have rehabilitated many birds to date and released them into the wild successfully (see press releases and media). What is actually needed is to tackle illegal hunting of non-target species. And for this we seek help and support of the TRNC Hunting Federation as well as the good practice and good will of hunters.