Rare wigeons to our wildlife hospital rehabilitated and released

One of the rescued widgeons

THREE wigeons, a rarely admitted species for the National Wildlife Rescue Centre, are thriving in FIndhorn, ready for travel to Scandinavia at the beginning of September.

Staff at the centre successfully rehabilitated and released the three wigeons, named Fancy, Wood and Feral, after they were found on 1 June stuck in a drain in a layby by the side of the A9. 

They were found by an HGV driver who kept them warm overnight in the cabin of their lorry before handing them over to one of our animal rescue officers the next day. The animal rescue officer then took them to the National Wildlife Rescue Centre to be rehabilitated.

Wigeons breed in central and northern Scotland and also in northern England. Many birds visit the UK in winter from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. 

Scottish SPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre manager, Chris Hogsden said: “Wigeons are rarely seen at the centre.

“Wigeons are a fairly common migratory winter visitor to Scotland, but we only have about 200 breeding pairs who stay all year round, so they are fairly rare. 

“When they were first admitted they only weighed about 25g, and refused to eat the typical diet that we give our other ducklings, so we had to make up a special food just for them. They spent about a month in our indoor pools before moving to our paddocks until they were ready for release. 

“At release they each weighed about 650g and were fully fledged. 

“The release site was Findhorn, where thousands of migratory wigeons travel to from Scandinavia at the start of September, so they’ll have lots of company soon.

“Knowing a wild animal is doing well after being in our care is the most rewarding aspect of our work at the National Wildlife Rescue Centre.”

If anyone finds a sick or injured wild animal, they can call the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

You can find further information on what to do if you come across any similar birds here: https://www.scottishspca.org/advice/swans-ducks-and-geese

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