Tuesday 1st July 2014
We’ve had a lot of ‘Keepers for a Day’ in the last few weeks. It has been quite eventful. I was in the Laybourne aviary in the Main Display; the big multi species exhibit, with this visitor, when a ‘black and white’ owl suddenly came in to my peripheral vision. I almost immediately did a double take, as we don’t have black and white owls in there. The nearest we have are Spectacled Owls, but nothing like that in the Laybourne aviary. It turns out that a Magpie has got in somehow. We’re not certain how, but it got in never the less. We’re going to have to leave it, until we’re certain everything has finished breeding for the year. We kept finding bits of chick fluff everywhere, as the Magpie has a habit of plucking its food, unlike the owls that swallow every last morsel.
We received a very small songbird chick yesterday. It is only about a week old at present, and is completely bald and blind. It is about as big as a 50p coin. We have no idea what kind of bird it is. It is presently in one of our brooders in the hospital. Sophie has been looking after it. It has been eating well, but it is by no means certain that it will make it to fledging age.
On another sad note, our resident male Common Buzzard; the one eyed ‘Nelson’ has gone up to the vet yesterday. He is very old now. He came in as a wild injury during the first season the World Owl Trust was resident at Muncaster; 1987. He came in as a fully mature adult, which means he is at least 30 years old. He has been having difficulty moving around in the last 2 years or so. He seems to be very geriatric, which leads me to estimate his true age nearer 40. Over the years he has managed to sire 19 Buzzards which were released around Muncaster. The Buzzard story has been a story very close to my heart.
See you next week
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|World Owl Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1107529
Limited Company Number: 5296745
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.