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World Owl Trust - leading the World in Owl Conservation

Text Version Last Updated: January 14, 2014 20:20

Thursday 18th December, 2014

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Wulf’s Blog


Thursday 7th January 2014

The ‘wild but mild’ weather continues. The cause, we are told, due to a ‘polar vortex’ in North America, which has had an effect on the jet stream, which in turn has caused all the storms and flooding on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

This may be the reason why some of our birds are already thinking about breeding. As I already related in an earlier blog, the Burrowing Owls have already got owlets. The Ashy-faced Owls have been confirmed as having at least one egg; the female White-faced Owl in the Owl Garden has been out of sight for several days; the female Magellan Horned Owl has been sat tight in her nest box for a while too. On Saturday, while feeding the Breeding Ground, I happened to observe ‘Bert and Betty’; the Mackinder’s Eagle Owls copulating. I remember being quite surprised by this, but this would appear to be part of an underlying trend, when collated with all the other owl related data. It does however, remain to be seen whether all this early laying will prove successful.

While still in a roundabout way on the subject of weather, as I was making my way back up from the Breeding Ground this morning, after the morning stock check, I noticed a particular Holly tree, are to be more specific, the leaf litter round the tree; the leaf litter was all green spiky Holly leaves. The Holly tree looked rather sad, being an evergreen with most of its leaves missing. Maybe, due to its evergreen nature, it presents more of a target for the kind of ferocious winds we’ve been having, but this is the first time I have noticed a Holly tree with most of its leaves blown off! Having said that, there is a lot of extra dead wood lying about. I imagine all these multiple ‘blows’ to have done more than a little ‘selective pruning’ on most trees!

The wild weather causes yet another owl related concern, albeit the wild ones; all this flooding must have had an impact on the Short-tailed Vole population. The repeated severe flooding happening at present, is nothing short of ‘biblical’. A crash in the Short-tailed Vole population will also impact on the welfare of The Barn Owl in the UK, which in turn, relies heavily on the Short-tailed Vole as a prey species.

See you next week


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