Last night around dusk, SWMBO and I were treated to a low level flying display back and forth along our yard by a pair of buzzards, an unusual if not unique event. It turned out that they were protecting their fledgling chick (who was on the ground and probably too young to fly) by buzzing our cat and the many other felines who were assembling to watch and/or assist in the upcoming event. How did it get there? Did it fall from their nest? There are magpie nests high in our silver birches at the side of the yard and any amount of jays, blackbirds, crows and pigeons around plus the odd owl and countless small stuff but I am sure that I would have noticed a pair of buzzards hanging around long enough to nest. A bit tricky to miss really.
Being brave, I donned a sturdy gardening glove, caught the baby buzz and put him (her?) in a cat carrier with some cat food and placed the lot on an (unlit) BBQ to raise it above ground level and hopefully out of any immediate danger. The bird seemed unhurt and while I was catching it it tried to fly away but hadn't completed the flying course and didn't know how to. It has an impressive 30cm or so wing span.
So, why am I telling you this? Well, a dead bird is no problem - the street bin after dark is the obvious solution but a live one is different matter and while the buzz is a protected species in France, it doesn't seem that there is an organisation or indeed anyone to actually do anything by way of protection. The French SPA are great for dogs and cats but unlike the RSPCA they do not accept a wider remit. The SPA did give me a number which I called. They took details and promised that someone would be in touch but having lived in France for over 10 years I am not holding my breath.
The baby buzz was alive and well this morning and welcomed another helping of cat food but this situation cannot endure.
If anyone can offer help or advise it will be gratefully received but no, I do NOT wish to fatten it up for Christmas.