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Friday 19th December, 2014

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Wulf’s Blog


Saturday April 3rd 2010

Another strange week weather wise, what with heavy snow in many places. It might seem that winter is still holding on, but if you look closely, the signs of Spring are all around us. During a window in the weather I went up ‘Pen-Y-Gent’, a fell in the Yorkshire Dales, and near the summit, at nearly 2300 feet I stumbled upon some ‘Purple Saxifrage’ in flower. The signs are there in even the most inhospitable places.

It is the same with the inhabitants of ‘The World Owl Centre’, to give it it’s full title. The breeder list update for this week confirms that at present, 35 species and subspecies of owls here at the centre are in the process of breeding. What’s more, some of them are in fact breeding a week earlier than they did at this time last year! The owls are not fooled by the continuing cold weather. We have confirmed hatchings from the ‘Mackinder’s Eagle Owls’; the ‘Brown Wood Owls’; the ‘African Spotted Eagle Owls’; the ‘Tropical Screech Owls’; and the ‘American Barn Owls’. We are hopeful that the ‘Ferruginous Pygmy Owls’, and the ‘Tengmalm’s Owls’ will have hatched their eggs as we speak. Also due, are the ‘European Eagle Owls’ and the ‘Ural Owls’, as well as the ‘White-faced Owls’; the ‘Verreaux’s Eagle Owls’, and the ‘Chaco’s owls’. The list is getting quite comprehensive. We have been having a few technical difficulties with some of our monitors. The new ones that were installed in with ‘Sparky’ the Barn Owl and ‘Chocolate’ the Eagle Owl are working okay now, but aren’t as yet accessible to anybody wishing to view them.

Back on the breeding side, ‘Betty’, the female Mackinder’s Eagle Owl I mentioned last week is on ‘blistering’ form. She is very protective of her single owlet, which at present is the size and shape of a ‘medium turnip’. She is obviously very proud of her ‘turnip’, and won’t allow any ‘riff raff’ to come near. As I said last week, she reminds me off a scary lady bouncer who used to ply her trade at a nightclub in my hometown, only allowing peole entrance who adhered to a strict dress code, and ‘bouncing’ the less fortunate from the premises. Betty obviously has the same high standards, as she glares at me with a look of moral indignation, as I deposit a morning feed on her feed table, before hurling herself at the wire, and WHAM! hitting the mesh in front of my face. She obviously disapproves of my general appearance. I will leave you with picture of Betty, and please note that she is glaring at me, and not at Terry Evison who took the picture.

Betty the female Mackiner's Eagle Owl
Betty the female Mackiner's Eagle Owl
Photo courtesy Terry Evison

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