Reprinted from Newsletter 95, dated 2000 April–May

Tribute to Sheena Rees, healer of injured birds

John Brunsdon

A small owl sits on a perch at the edge of a wooden structure in a garden. Around it are various flowers, some in hanging flower boxes. A senior woman with white curly hair and glasses is in the corner of the frame. She looks at the bird and smiles.
People from all over the district brought injured birds to Sheena, and she nursed them at her home. A retired social worker, she lived in Roman Way for many years and later in Bere Lane.

Sheena Rees died after a short illness in January. She would have been 76 on April 13. Her ashes were scattered on the shoulder of the Tor on Palm Sunday.

She had devoted her life to the care of injured birds and must have nursed many hundreds back to a longer life. As a local vet I would be required to help treat birds from time to time. Sheena would then take them over and painstakingly nurse them until they could be released again.

One such case was a kestrel that had broken its wing on Wearyall Hill in 1976, on August 3. I set the wing, immobilizing it by bandaging to the bird’s body. Then Sheena took over for hospitalizing and feeding at her home, at that time in Roman Way. As the kestrel had a leg ring I was able to trace that it had been rung at Portsdown, Portsmouth, that year on June 23, and I sent Sheena the official report. She was delighted, writing:

September 18

Thank you for the sight of this information. I have taken a photocopy for Mrs Lowe and myself. I am pleased to report that the kestrel is flying — and hovering — satisfactorily with her mate on Wearyall again. I have Mr and Mrs Watts of Camelot, Hill Head, bringing her the odd dead day-old chick till she is fully self-supporting.

Sheena Rees

May Sheena fly with angels — and her birds.