We work year round helping injured and ill birds, but our busiest period is from March to October during breeding season where we can be hand rearing up to 100 babies at any given time, and we're getting busier every year.
The babies are fed up to every 15 minutes from 4.30am till 11pm. 7 days a week.
Once they've fledged they are put in to our large soft release aviary where they begin to dehumanise, and learn how to forage for food before release.
During Autumn and Winter, we deal with a lot of birds suffering from injuries and also seasonal illnesses such as Canker.
We have a small heated hospital cabin with limited spaces and we're almost always full. We always aim to release back in to the wild, but sometimes this isn't possible. We work very closely with other independent small rescues who can sometimes offer long term homes for some of these birds, where they can live out their lives happily with others of their own kind.
The Special Branch became a registered charity in July 2021 and opened a small charity shop in October 2021 which helped to fund the rescue. As the cost of living crisis hit, the shop had to shut just one year later, but in that time, and with the help of The National Lottery Community Fund, we managed to recruit some fantastic volunteers who still help us to keep things running.
Before spring 2023 we hope to have opened our new volunteer hub, where we can run workshops relating to hand rearing baby birds, first aid, and bird care, and also hold courses taught by local artists and crafters to help towards fundraising. This volunteer hub will also be a great small social space where members of the community can become involved with the rescue and meet up with other like minded people.
There are far too many birds for.one rescue to help, so we are encouraging people.to become involved, whether it be transporting birds, hand rearing, or giving birds space to recuperate before release. We've helped several small rescues like ours to start up. Sharing resources, information and help with funding to get set up properly.
We will continue to support these rescues as they support us too. Our aim is to help get more budding rescuers off to a flying start!