Saturday 3rd September 2011
We had some luck during the last couple of weeks. Somebody bequeathed a shed load of owl knickknacks. These are all of high quality. The timing was perfect for the gazebo which was erected by the wildlife pond. The keepers have been doing a roaring trade selling selected items to raise funds for the World Owl Trust. Also on hand have been our volunteers; Becca, Kate and Kirsten to ‘Meet and Greet’ with an ‘owl ambassador’ on the fist. This has meant that the average spend at the World Owl Trust of each visitor to Muncaster, has gone up from 5p to 55p. This increase is very significant. We have been manning the gazebo in the Owl Garden when time allows as well. I managed to do £65 worth of business in two hours the other day. These amounts all add up. Today however is a complete washout. As I write this blog, the chair I’m sitting on is decidedly damp, as I have spent most of the morning in the elements outside. It is raining!
It would appear that the White-breasted Barn Owls are living up to their reputation again. We have owlets in the Laybourne aviary. This species is capable of breeding at any time of the year. This is part of their survival strategy, to make up for casualties due to weather like we’re having today. You might be forgiven for thinking that maybe the Barn Owl shouldn’t be in the UK, as it is designed for more tropical climates, but there is a trade off, for putting up with our climate; In Africa they are known as ‘Grass Owls’, as this is their habitat, but how long does grass stay green in Africa? Not very long. How long does grass stay green in the British Isles? Almost all year round, thereby supporting a constant supply of prey species in the form of Short Tailed Voles. A nice compensation I would say.
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.