Honey buzzard rehabilitation and release
Amazing story of the rescue and release of a rare honey buzzard
The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a registered conservation charity and tourist attraction that enjoys over 45,000 visits per year.
The Trust also has an active rehabilitation programme that includes, Hilary’s Birds of Prey Hospital, which cares for over 200 sick or injured birds of prey every year. The hospital is a specialist unit treating all species of birds of prey and receives referrals from across the country and from agencies including the RSPCA.
In May 2009 a rare Honey Buzzard was admitted for treatment after becoming exhausted during its migration from Africa and falling into the waters of the Solent, in the shipping lanes close to the Isle of Wight. It was rescued by a young couple in an inflatable dingy.
The Trust identified this story as having potential for wide spread media interest because of the rarity of the patient, and the circumstances of its rescue. However, the airing of the BBC Spring Watch programme gave the Trust a remarkable opportunity for raising awareness of its rehabilitation work via a national television network and through a series of serendipitous events the story of the Honey Buzzard was picked up by the BBC.
Subsequently the rehabilitation of the Honey Buzzard and its successful release was covered on BBC TV’s ‘Spring Watch’ programme to a total audience of 6.4 million viewers.
The Hawk Conservancy Trust
WINNER of BIAZA Award 2009 (small collection) for Best public relations project