FAQS - Herons

I have found a young heron which has fallen from its nest

Fortunately, this is a very rare situation. However, unfortunately it is usually impossible to return young herons to the nest.  Please call your local wildlife rescue so a person who is experienced in dealing with herons can come and assess the situation.

I have seen an adult heron caught in pond netting

Firstly please get everyone away from the heron so it can be kept as quiet as possible to minimise stress and struggling.  Then contact your local wildlife rescue who will send someone experienced out who will be able to cut the bird free.  With any luck the heron may not need any treatment unless the netting has caused damage.  If it is unhurt then it should be able to be released immediately

I have found a thin / weak / collapsed heron

We do not advise that anyone inexperienced deals with injured herons, as they can be extremely dangerous, even in a weakened state.  Please call your local wildlife rescue and they will send someone out to deal with the heron.

If you are certain that you can contain the bird then it may be caught and brought to your local wildlife rescue in a secure box.  If you do plan to do this then it is very important to wear goggles and gloves.  To catch it you should grasp the bird round the neck, just behind the head, keeping it at arm’s length the whole time.  It should then be brought in to your local wildlife rescue as soon as possible.  However if you are in any doubt then please call your local wildlife rescue and don’t attempt to catch the heron yourself.

General Information

Important – Herons can be very dangerous so please take care when approaching them.  When frightened a heron may strike out with its beak which could cause a serious injury.  Ideally the rescue of injured herons should be left to those who are experienced in dealing with them so if you are in any doubt please do not approach the heron.  If you do approach the bird make sure you are wearing protective goggles.

Some useful telephone numbers:

The Swan Sanctuary (Shepperton): 01932 240790
Swan Rescue (Cobham): 01932 240790 / 07714 292744
Woking Swan Rescue: 07946 869933 / 01483 765108
Swans & Friends Bird Rescue (Redhill) : 01737 773712 / 07712 753919
RSPB: 01767 693690