A baby owl found “cold and alone” at the bottom of a tree has been rescued.

The tiny owlet was found on a man’s woodland in Pett, near Hastings.

He took the “ball of fluff” to RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in the town.

“Worryingly, this poor little owlet - still a tiny ball of fluff - was very cold, quiet and unreactive," said Ash Peter, a wildlife assistant at the centre. 

The Argus: The baby owletThe baby owlet (Image: RSPCA)

“Our first task was to check her over. Luckily, she had no injuries and didn’t appear to be sick, so we got some fluids into her and fed her with chopped-up meat. We then popped her in an incubator to warm up overnight.”

The next step for the RSPCA staff was to work out how to reintroduce the little bird back to her nest. Being so knowledgeable about the local wildlife on his premises, the man was sure the tawny owlet’s nest was close to where he had found the owlet.

He also knew that the parents were around, as they had swooped on him when he rescued the young bird - and he was confident he could pinpoint which hole in which specific tree the owl’s nest was. But the hole was 30 feet up, so would be extremely difficult to access.

In consultation with the RSPCA’s local inspectorate, a plan was hatched.


RSPCA Mallydams staff put out a plea on Facebook for any tree surgeons who might be able to help.

Within a very short time, they heard from Bexhill-based APS Tree Surgery and Fencing where staff were more than up for helping to return the little owl to her nest.

Just 24 hours after the little bird was brought into Mallydams, she was safely checked over and on her way back to her home in the wild.  

Ash added: “After double-checking that they had the right hole in the right tree, the tree surgeon, a skilled climber, scaled the tree, ascending into the higher branches using ropes.  

The Argus: The tree surgeon up the tree returning the owlet to its parentsThe tree surgeon up the tree returning the owlet to its parents (Image: RSPCA)

“Once he was in position, the owlet was put in a special bag, and with the help of a pulley, was lifted up the tree until she reached the patiently waiting tree surgeon.

"Having been advised on how to handle the little bird by us, he gently removed the owlet from her travel bag and placed her just in the entrance to the nest. She soon jumped down into the nest inside the hollow of the tree and didn’t reappear.

“It was such a happy moment for all of us. We are confident that the owlet has settled back into the nest with her parents. There is nothing better than successfully returning a wild animal to the wild where they belong.  

“It was the perfect rescue but without the help of some local heroes, the outcome could have been very different.”