Concussed Kestrel Returned to the Wild
A juvenile Common Kestrel was handed in to the GONHS Raptor Unit on the 15 November 2019, after being found by Mr Joe Flores at Wellington Front. It seems to have flown into a glass balustrade and was in a poor state of health, showing signs of concussion.
This follows a string of incidents that have been brought to GONHS’s attention with regard to birds colliding into glass on buildings and balustrades, including birds becoming trapped within glass balconies. The incidents, which have included injuries and fatalities, have involved a diverse range of birds including shearwaters, falcons, owls, robins and kingfishers. Unfortunately, this is an increasingly well-documented phenomenon. Indeed, GONHS recently took part in a global, Canadian-led initiative to assess the impact of glass buildings on migratory birds.
The kestrel in question was taken to the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic by Mr Flores, where after treatment it was handed over to the GONHS Raptor Unit to continue with its care. After 2 months of rehabilitation and a lot of careful attention, the bird managed to fully recover. It was briefly reunited with its rescuer Mr Flores on the 30th January for a short while before being successfully released back into the wild in the Gibraltar Nature Reserve.
The Kestrel as was found on the day
Mr Joe Flores reunited with the Kestrel he rescued.
Rescued Kestrel in perfect condition ready for release
This bird was lucky, and many birds that strike glass suffer a more serious fate. GONHS urges that all developments take this into account. If extensive use of glass cannot be avoided, the devices such as anti-collision stickers should be used to safeguard our wildlife. Gibraltar sits in a global migratory hotspot for birds and we need to do everything possible to ensure effective conservation in our territory.