rescue goose

Feather friends at Woodlands

Due to an outbreak of bird flu all our birds have been confined to their houses...........

Winter was a testing time for our feathered friends having had to be confined to barracks since December due to bird flu.  This has caused not only extra work for our animal carers and volunteers, but also increased concern to ensure a daily quality of life for our birds that they had been used to when allowed to free roam.  Everyone has therefore spent extra time and energy ensuring that our birds are as happy and comfortable as possible in their homes.

The team used their initiative and our supporters came to our rescue once again providing various interactive toys and boredom breakers for our feathered friends.  It’s true – you really can buy anything from the internet!  Who knew that bantams can be such playful creatures?

Freedom came on 14th April when the restrictions were lifted and our birds could feel the grass beneath their feet and water through their feathers once again, whiling away their days floating around on the pond.  Peter the peacock was once again free to rattle his impressive tail feathers in the sunshine, Daffy could continue his fitness regime of our volunteers by escorting them, at speed, across our duck field and our four resident white Call ducks can once again march in formation around our site, meeting and greeting visitors and escorting them on errands. 

Lou, one of our animal carers, who spends a lot of time working with our birds said “I was really surprised to see the reaction of the birds when we could finally let them out – apart from a few characters we don’t really think of our birds as having personalities like some of the other species we have here, but the joy and pleasure these birds felt at being able to stretch their wings in the fresh air again was clear to see.  Albert and Grizelda, two of our geese, were first on pond with a lot of wing flapping and joyous vocals – I think they had found it quite hard being confined full time, as they are the biggest of our birds.  To try and help them with this we were letting them into one of the goat stables during the day to give them more space.” 

As much as we were all looking forward to our birds having their freedom again, as with most things there was also the flip side, which was a slight concern that it would be more difficult than normal to return them all back to their beds at the end of the day.  Lou continues “We weren’t looking forward to trying to get everybody back into bed at the end of the day, but I think all the excitement had taken its toll on them and they were actually ready for their beds because they were very easy to round up and for once, they very dutifully filed back to their respective houses in a very orderly fashion!”

This Sunday, 21st May we have the second of our open days this summer.  From 11-3 why not come and join us at our Feather Fest event - where you can see all of our birds in person, as well as getting up close and personal with various different birds of prey kindly brought along by Horus Birds of Prey?  Horus Birds of Prey have shown us long term support during our open days and will give you the opportunity to view and hold one of their birds if you are feeling brave enough.  If you would like more information about any of our animals and the work we do please find us on Facebook or visit our website: