Raptor Siblings Rescued, Reunited, Released!

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Surprise as Raptor siblings are reunited at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA!

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s Wildlife Department recently reunited two raptor siblings that were separated when their nest was damaged in a storm,  

Of all the neighbourhoods in Cape Town, it stands to reason that the leafier, better-treed ones are where all the wild bird variety can be found. Bishop’s Court, in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, is not only South Africa’s fifth wealthiest suburb, it also home to a large variety of indigenous birds, thanks to the large gardens, old, established tree stands, and relatively few predators. Birds of prey of all sorts abound here but one species that residents are quite happy about, are the African goshawks.

Seldom seen but often heard (their call can be described as the sound of two stones hitting together), the goshawks of Bishops Court are known and adored. When the CoGH SPCA was called out one evening after an early winter storm to collect a bedraggled bird sitting by the roadside, our wildlife officer was quick to identify it as one of the resident goshawk chicks. Suffering a concussion, it needed immediate care. The bird was swiftly driven up the west coast to the SPCA’s permitted and accredited raptor rehabilitation centre The Owl Orphanage.

This could be the happy ending of this tale, but for the fact that thirteen days later, another African goshawk chick was found, only two blocks away from where the first one was collected. Again, we were called and we collected the bird; this one had a pulled wing muscle and was in pain. Pain meds administered, the bird was swiftly driven up the west coast to the SPCA’s permitted and accredited raptor rehabilitation centre The Owl Orphanage.

It was here that the two birds were recognised as being related and reunited. Each having fully recovered from their respective ordeals, they were given the all-clear to return home to the wild by a specialist veterinarian and both birds were released into a leafy area nearest to where they were found. Released, they swooped off together amongst the trees, sticking close together and have been spied by eagle-eyed residents in the area many weeks later.

African goshawk chicks fledge around 37-days old and will stick close to their nest site for several weeks after fledging, only becoming fully independent some months after first leaving the nest. They will remain territorial. 

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Department is equipped to respond to all cases of sick, injured or compromised wildlife, including birds of prey, 24-hours a day, every day of the year. Contact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on 0217004158/9 or email  inspectorate@spca-ct.co.za  to report sick or injured birds.

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