A patient care assistant at Medivet Daventry is giving nature a helping hand by rearing three young blackbirds whose lives she saved.
While it is generally recommended to leave fledglings alone, Millie Cash of Medivet Daventry was forced to intervene when it became clear the birds would not survive without her help.
One was brought to her because a dog was playing with it. The other two had become separated from their parents while too young to survive. Millie is hand-feeding the fledglings on live insects until they are able to fly and catch their own food. Once they have reached this stage, she will release them first into her outdoor aviary and, from there, into her garden.
Millie, who plans to start training to become a veterinary nurse in September, is well known locally for her love of birds and her skill in caring for them. The three blackbirds are the latest in a stream of young birds and fledglings, including a moorhen, several house martins, wood pigeons and blue tits, whose lives Millie has helped save over the last few weeks.
She credits her love of nature and of birds in particular to hours spent with her grandfather, Brian Cash, in his garden as a child.
She says: “I have a particular love for birds and have become quite knowledgeable about how to care for them. Some that I’ve released still visit my garden and I can tell their different characters and personalities. Of course, I must stress that, in most cases, nature takes care of itself and I advise people to leave birds and their chicks well alone – but occasionally nature needs a helping hand and that’s what I try to give it, particularly at this time when bird populations are in decline.
“I’m really looking forward to starting my training to become a veterinary nurse later this year and, in the future, I would like to use my skills to help birds and other wild animals.”
Lauren Widman, Head Nurse at Medivet Daventry, added: “Millie works around the clock to ensure that the youngsters she’s caring for are fed and well looked after. She knows so much about them and is a real asset to our team. She is really going the extra mile to help nature and we are very proud of her. She’ll make a fantastic veterinary nurse.”