1) How do I report poaching / illegal bird trapping?
To read about what you should do if you witness poaching / illegal bird trapping please click here.
2) What do I do if I find nets/limesticks?
Every year thousands of birds become victims of illegal trapping devices such as mist nets and limesticks. Despite the fact that over the past few years there has been a big enforcement effort to prevent this, which has met with some success, illegal trappers continue their destructive work. It is possible that while out and about you may find set mist nets or limesticks, many of which may even contain trapped birds, condemned to suffer a slow and painful death.
It is important that you do not destroy the nets or the limesticks! Even when you see trapped birds, this is not the correct course of action. There are two main reasons for not destroying either mist nets or limesticks.
Firstly, you are destroying evidence that could help at a later stage in investigations and may lead to the arrest of the trapper. Secondly, you might put yourself in danger should the trapper be aware of your actions and become aggressive.
The relevant authorities to get in touch with are the Game Fund, the Cyprus Police and the Sovereign Base Authorities Police. By leaving the trapping equipment untouched you help them with their work prosecuting and arresting the trappers.
Please read the information at the following link and contact the relevant authorities on the phone numbers provided and report your findings. You will need to be certain and specific about the exact location of the nets/limesticks.
3) How can we help injured birds and young birds (nestlings) that fall from their nests?
Many of us may find an injured bird. What can we do in that case? Should we try and help or leave it heal on its own?
Handling a wild bird is extremely stressful for the bird and thus we should always consider whether it is absolutely necessary and if the injury is too serious to heal without our intervention. For example, if a bird has a minor injury on its leg then it should be left to heal itself but if it has an injured wing then we should try to offer help to attend to its wounds.
When handling a bird it is important to know the correct way. You should never hold a bird too tightly but be firm and gentle. The right way to hold a bird is to place your hand over the bird so the birds head is between your index finger and your middle finger while the rest of the hand is around the bird’s body. If it is a larger bird that will not fit in your hand, then you should place each hand over the bird’s wings. Be careful when it’s even a larger bird, such as a swan. You should not try and handle such a large bird unless you have previous experience. You should always call an expert with such experience to handle the bird.
Always be on guard when dealing with a bird with big claws and beak. For your own and the bird’s safety you should cover its head with a cloth which helps reduce the stress on the bird.
Place the bird in a box that has newspaper at the bottom of it so that it collects all excrement. The box should also have holes in it to allow ventilation and should be left in a quiet place so that the bird can relax and recover from a stressful situation.
You should never try and feed or give any type of medication to the bird as it is possible that you could cause further damage. You should inform the Game Fund and wait for them to collect the bird.
The Game Fund has a rehabilitation centre where it treats injured birds and the wardens there are the most appropriate people to treat such wild birds.
When you find a young bird on the ground you should take no action unless you are sure that it has been abandoned. Many bird species are known to be mobile and to leave the nest at a very early age. Especially during spring it is very common to see young birds which are not fully feathered hopping around on the ground seemingly out of sight of their parents. That does not mean that the parents are absent but they might be somewhere near, watching and feeding.
If you find a bird that is in an area that puts it in danger either from other people or animals, you should move the bird to a safer site, but always near to the place you found it, so that is within hearing distance from its parents.
If you find a young bird that has clearly fallen from the nest by accident then you should return it to the nest. Birds, in contrast with mammals, do not reject their offspring because of the smell that can be transferred from humans as they handle a nestling. If returning the nestling to the nest is not possible then the nestling depends on humans for hand rearing. This task is not to be taken lightly and is best undertaken by an experienced rehabilitator, especially if the species concerned is rare.
Nicosia: 22 867786
Limassol: 99 628338
Larnaka/Famagusta: 99 445808
Paphos: 99 445291
4) Bird Problems
A very common phenomenon that a lot of households have to deal with is bird excrement on verandas, patios and near the entrances to houses and flats. Probably the best way to deal with a problem like that is with patience and understanding. With the expansion of cities, birds have had to adapt to survive and to learn how to live near humans. As a result of that many birds build their nests near or on our buildings.
It is prohibited by law to destroy a nest or the contents of a nest. With that in mind you should consider some other solutions to this problem. Below are a few suggestions:
Some people find it useful to hang a silhouette of a bird of prey which works as a scarecrow and prevents birds nesting nearby. Birds see this fake figure as a potential dangerous predator.
Another method is the use of ultrasonic devices that transmit sound waves not detectable by the human ear but very irritating to birds. Additionally, a tape with sounds of birds of prey could be used to scare birds away from the area concerned.
Other deterrents include fitting small metal spikes on plastic strips to the ledges, balconies etc. so that the birds are prevented from perching or gaining access to roosting or possible nesting sites.