A haven for the unlucky and unfortunate
The wild bird rehabilitation station Kirchwald in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, founded in 1983 and financially supported by CABS, is today the largest of its kind in Germany. Birds of all sizes, from Goldcrest to Mute Swan, are treated and nursed back to health here. In the record year 2006 a total of 1,791 ‘patients’ were treated.
A round-the-clock staffing ensures that the police, fire brigade and concerned citizens always have someone to contact. The staff includes two young men doing their alternative community service as well as two young ladies taking part in the national voluntary ecological year project. The reasons for hospitalisation are as varied as the feathered patients themselves. They include motor traffic or window collisions, illnesses, victims of power lines, poisoning, shooting and, again and again, helpless young birds. More than two thirds of the birds are released into the wild after a short stay.
The majority of the patients are birds of prey such as Kestrels and Buzzards. In addition there are above all young Swifts, Blackbirds, finches, House Martins and Barn Swallows as well as Tawny and Barn Owl chicks. Rare birds also find their way to the Kirchwald station. About half of the bird species occurring in Germany have been treated at the station at one time or another, including Tengmalm’s Owl, Wryneck, Little Grebe and Redstart. Since 2003 the station has a large hedgehog ‘hotel’ where up to 100 underweight “Miss Tiggywinkles” can spend the winter.
The homepage of the wild bird rehabilitation station is here ...