Fezziwig came into my care on the 16th July 2020. He was found in a garden in the coastal village of Seahouses Northumberland, & his plight was drawn to my attention by a friend who lives there.
Unfortunately he had become separated from his family & had luckily been rescued from a cat.
I met the finder with her precious cargo in a shoebox at a nearby service station & brought him home with only the slightest expectation of him surviving.
My first priority was to get him warm again and bring his body temperature up before offering him fluids. He was so lacklustre & flat,I popped him straight onto a fleece covered heat pad with a soft toy to cuddle and brought the ambient temperature up to 30 degrees.
Once he'd revived a little & was toasty warm I offered him critical care formula using a syringe into his wee beak: this boosted his bodily functions & once he'd pooped I knew I could be a little more hopeful.
Fezzi was obviously a fighter so next came hourly feeds of baby bird rearing formula for a few days, graduating to chick crumb & insect mix which he gobbled up with gusto (!) finally to seed & layers mash with live mealworms to teach him to forage for his own food…
Pheasant chicks start out as fluffy striped bees & graduate through a wonderful range of brown & cream first feathers to the resplendent array of colours that we're used to seeing…. They're considered to be independent at around 8 weeks & generally stay with their siblings for some time after that…
During the weeks that I cared for him we spent many hours together as pheasants love company. He would join me for an afternoon snooze, tucking himself under my chin for warmth, his little legs shuffling about in order to get comfy. He'd follow me all around the house and especially loved roosting on the heated towel rail watching me clean my teeth! Pheasants are incredibly fast runners so it was always a challenge to get him back into his cage!
After 12 weeks I transferred Fezziwig to my aviary during the day, bringing him in at night until he was used to the outdoors. He'd allow me to be near him but I had to start the process of re-wilding him a little with a view to finding him a large aviary home with other pheasants for company.
I knew I couldn't release him locally as his sad fate would probably have been to be squished on the road or shot and in his eyes humans were kind so it was always a risk he'd come too close to other people.
So I searched further afield & found a wonderful lady who rescues pheasant & other fowl & settled him with her in late October where he lives happily in a huge aviary with a few buddies and his favourite memory foam bed & heated sleeping area! Spoiled Fezzi!
What an honour to see this wonderful bird through the first stages of his life.
He's now grown into a splendid chap with the most amazing plummage and to have him as one of my success stories is a wonderful memory to keep. We had a short but very special bond & I'm in regular contact with his new home to check he's ok.
Paula Talbot (Northumberland & Borders Wildlife Rescue)