Tuesday 16th December 2014
This will be the last blog before Yule, as I have taken a few days off beforehand. I should be able to get one in before New Year’s Eve. Just five days to go till the winter solstice, after which the days will start to get longer again. Just as I’m getting used to having ‘2014’ in the dates, I’ll have to get used to ‘2015’!
As usual, the Ashy Faced Owls in the Main Display are looking like they’ve gone down on eggs. They often do so around this time of year; that particular pair do anyway! They aren’t usually successful though.
We are currently cleaning out all the nest boxes at present, ready for the next season. This helps to reduce next year’s parasite burden, by removing all the eggs and grubs which will become adult ‘Flat Flies’; Hippobscids by the end of May. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the Flat Fly can cause acute anaemia in the young of certain species of owls. For more information, check out my article ‘Fighting Flies’ here
We had, (what was for us), the first bit of decent frost over the weekend. Frost is very beneficial in reducing the parasite burden. In fields used for livestock, you can end up with a high level of worms/nematodes in the soil. Frost very effectively kills these parasites off, with all the ensuing benefits.
We hope the weather doesn’t throw a ‘wobbler’ over the festive season and that it passes uneventfully. In the meantime, we would like extend a ‘festive Yuletide Greetings’ to you all, and I’ll see you before New Year.
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The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.