Derry birds falling out of the sky prompts wildlife appeal

Birds have been dropping from the Derry skies due to their weak state after recent heat waves, a local wildlife campaigner has said.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 5:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 6:48 pm

Niamh McManus, of North West Wildlife Rehabilitation, an independent animal hospital, urged people to leave food out for birds and animals during warm spells.

The skies may appear abundant now with swifts, swallows and house martins but Ms. McManus said many birds have been struggling due to a combination of warmer and wetter weather.

“Wildlife already weakened and sick because of the weather are less likely to be able to navigate heavy rains and flooding grounds. Please leave food out for the birds. They’re dropping out of the skies with heat exhaustion.

“If they have an easy meal to take the edge off, it could mean the difference between life and death for the hardest hit,” she said.

As well as helping local birdlife Ms. McManus, who works closely with vets to provide care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, nurses a whole range of native fauna back to fitness.

Over the past week or so NWWR has tended to a variety of species including gulls, jackdaws and hedgehogs including one from Foyle Springs that was underweight after being injured by a cat.

Ms. McManus does not discriminate and urged anyone that comes across an injured animal to contact NWWR.

“The foxes, hedgehogs, badgers, bats and stoats will all appreciate some cat food in jelly left out at night. Don’t worry. You wont attract rats.

“The more animals helped by individuals like you and your friends, the less animals will perish in this weather.

“If everyone does a little tiny bit, then that all adds up to a lot,” she said.