Flying free – gull fledglings find their wings!

Posted: August 14, 2023 in News

Here at Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital Cornwall one of the best things about our job is when we get to release a bird that has either recovered from an illness or injury or has been reared from a nestling to a fledgling. In this update it’s our gull fledglings, many of whom came in as a tiny ball of fluff and are now effectively rambunctious teenagers ready to try out the new world.

Some of our fledglings getting ready to take to the skies!

Every year Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital Cornwall plays host to 200-400 gull chicks who come to the hospital at various stages of their development. Of these chicks, those who fledge successfully are released at various sites around west Cornwall to go on to live their best lives, be it remaining close by to their release site or moving on to find another suitable area. They reach maturity at approximately 3-4 years old and will take their time establishing a new territory where they feel safe and able to create nests for future generations.

Avian Influenza (bird flu) had a devastating effect on all seabirds last year (and carries on this year). The Herring Gull is the most common gull usually seen here in Cornwall but many lost their lives last year due to this devastating virus. The Herring Gull is already red-listed (endangered) and as a species have declined in number by over 25% in the last 10 years. So we are always very happy to help protect them by helping to raise them to their full potential.

So remember if you see a gull flying overhead it may be one that stayed briefly at Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital!

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