VIDEO: Trapped bird freed from pipe in '˜risky' wildlife rescue

Wildlife rescuers were forced to use a '˜risky' technique in order save the life of a trapped bird.

Sunday, 5th June 2016, 12:59 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:00 am
Tiny blue tit recovering after his 'risky' rescue. Photo courtesy of WRAS SUS-160506-115432001

Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called to Heathfield in East Sussex after a blue tit became stuck in a drainpipe yesterday morning (Saturday, June 4)..

WRAS Rescuer Manager Chris Riddington said: “Pushing the bird along the pipe was likely to cause it injury so that was out of the question. We decided to use a machine which blows airs in an attempt to encourage the bird along the pipe safely. This didn’t work as the distance along the pipe was just too great and branched off and too difficult to contain and control the air well enough.

“We were running out of options and we knew that if we left the bird it was almost certain death in the dark underground.”

Rescuers then decided to try a risky approach of flushing the bird out from the pipe. WRAS founder Trevor Weeks said: “This should only be done as a last resort, as it carries risks. You need to get a balance between the volume of water not being too high that you drown the bird and it not being enough that the bird doesn’t float and move anywhere and just gets wet, then cold and hypothermic. It is also really important that the water isn’t cold as the small young bird would potentially die of shock or hypothermia”

After a few minutes the tiny bird was washed through the drain into the safety of Chris’s hands.

Rescuers gently warmed the sodden bird with a hairdryer before taking him back to WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith. Rescuer then introduced him to two other similar aged fledgling blue tits already in care.

Chris said: “It was amazing to see his transformation from a little wet blob to a fluffy feathered squeaky lively blue tit.

“It is amazing that we rescued him and I really thought he was going to be a step too far for us to be able to rescue and save but we really didn’t want to leave him to die underground”

The little blue tit is now settled in with two friends now and will eventually be soft released in a little group once old enough.

To find out how you can help the charity visit their website at

Video and photo courtesy of WRAS.

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