How to Capture Wildlife species
When arriving at a location the first action to take is to observe your surroundings and identify the species you are working with.
Ask yourself, what are the dangers? How can these dangers be minimised? What is the species you are attempting to help?
For example, a Heron with their long beaks can dart within a split second and cause horrific damage to your eyes!
Safety is always your first step and secondly, plan your capture. Use sunglasses if possible.
Wild species think of humans as predators, they do not understand you are trying to help so will of course lash out at you in self defence.
In this clip, the young Seagull was seeking out comfort next to its reflection thinking it was its siblings.
The trick when understanding their behaviours is to predict their next move, that's where we have already planned for that action where we are able to move in swiftly, confidently and safely for both ourselves and that specie. We have also taken into consideration there was a busy road behind us, remembering that seagulls can run fast. As we move in for capture we are observing its behaviours and gaining a sense of body condition, health status etc.
Once directed to a safe barrier we move in slowly to capture whilst being careful not to spook her where we can safely handle. Always secure the body part that is likely to cause harm for example their beaks or talons. We highly advise to cover the species eyes, that way the specie cannot make that same judgement call to put up a fight putting you at risk, this also allows the bird to somewhat calm down as stress is a huge factor triggering that flight fight response.
Towels are a must if you have access to this or simply a jersey or shirt. Gently place the towel or material you have over the species body and eyes then gently but firmly pick up and place in a secure box. We highly recommend a box as cat carry cages can cause damage to their flight feathers, wings or legs. However if a cage is all you have to use that is better than nothing 😀