Tuesday 3rd June 2014
It was the Muncaster Festival last week, which also included the Festival of Fools. A new ‘Fool of Muncaster’ was elected from all this year’s candidates, and the winner was Abi Collins. We had the privilege of watching her performance from the World Owl Trust gazebo on the front lawn. Her alter ego is ‘Catinka’ the only surviving member of the ‘Chernobyl Circus Troop’. Very funny!
Due to the busy schedule, we could only do a static display for ‘Meet the Birds’, but we also did a daily ‘Walk on the Wild side’ at noon which started at the wild life pond. This was hosted by Hilary, Vicky and I and included a look at some of the more interesting wild flowers that grow in and around Muncaster, as well as a closer look at some of the exotic tree specimens encountered on route.
We have had a few more confirmations regarding this year’s owlets. We now know the Tengmalm’s Owls in the Breeding Ground have two owlets, and the Burrowing Owls in the Main display have two owlets, (again), as well. The juveniles they bred in September of last year are still in the aviary, seeing as the future of this owl collection is ‘fluid’ at present, we can’t place any of our youngsters in other collections as yet.
Hilary and Vicky went out monitoring some of the local wild bred owlets this morning, and things are looking quite encouraging at present. One site visited was at Haile near Egremont. This site had four vigorous well fed Barn Owlets. I have included a photo taken this morning of Vicky holding the entire clutch.
Just had to interrupt the writing of this blog, I had to go to Workington, as a call came through from somebody who has picked up a young Sparrow Hawk that had fallen from a nest high up in a tree. It was on an industrial estate. I’m happy to say the chick came to no harm from it’s fall, but on inspecting the nest site, it would have been ‘ticklish’ to say the least, to get the bird back in the nest again. It’s about 4 weeks old, and at an age where it might easily imprint on any human handler. We could do with a glove puppet that simulates its parents. I have given it a feed and left some cut up food on a flat dish. Hopefully if it manages to eat this by itself, we can avoid imprinting it. On closer inspection it looks like a young Kestrel, but the problems with rearing it remain basically the same. Fingers crossed it eats by itself.
See you next week
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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.