ON Christmas Eve, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was con- tacted by the Causeway Hospital regarding a Grey Heron which was trapped by its tail and a wing in the stream to the rear of the hospital.
The shallow stream there was covered with a thin layer of ice and the heron which regularly forages for food by wading slowly through the water had amazingly become trapped in the ice.
Dr Ken Perry, Chair ofthe local RSPB Group, had responded to the call with Richard Hoy and together they caught the bird, but it was too cold to fly and it clearly hadn't eaten for many hours.
It was taken by Rick into care and force-fed back to health over Christmas.
It was successfully released on Boxing Day and returned to the wild
as once again it could fly freely to forage for itself.
This is a story with a happy ending, but it is a reminder that the birds and animals living in the wild during periods of intensely cold weather need the assistance of regular hand-outs from the public to survive, and RSPB asks the readers to do all they can to support the local bird communities through the current cold spell.