Tuesday January 8th 2013
I think this morning has been one of the darkest so far this winter. It took until 8.20am to get light enough to see, so I could do a pen check down in the Breeding Ground.
We’re due a visit by a representative from another collection. We are going to swap our female Turkemenian Eagle Owl with theirs in the hope that we can get this species to breed at the Owl Centre. This is one species that hasn’t bred here in all the time I have been associated with the World Owl Trust; nearly 17 years now! The World Owl Trust has bred them in the past, but in my time we have only managed fertile eggs which failed to hatch. This is a beautiful sub species of the Eurasian Eagle Owl, slightly paler and smaller than the European Eagle Owl. I for one will be very happy if we are successful with these owls this year. Fingers crossed.
As I went down to the Breeding Ground this morning, I came across some curious behaviour in the Mackinder’s Eagle Owl aviary. The female called ‘Nialla’ was perched high up near the front of the aviary with her wings stretched out in a heraldic pose. I don’t imagine she was trying to rain bathe, as that is something they might do during the summer especially after a prolonged dry period, and let’s face it, it takes a feat of imagination to think of a ’prolonged dry spell’ at present!
We have been busy cleaning nest boxes ready for the breeding season, which is literally just round the corner.
I’ve just been handed an email request which is rather unusual, but quite wonderful at the same time, and which kind of illustrates how multicultural the world has become. Somebody has just requested to adopt one of our Barn Owls in the name of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi; that’s a first, and maybe first of many. Apparently a great white owl is Lakshmi’s ‘Vahanna’; or vehicle with whom she descends to Earth and takes away the darkness of poverty, complacency, arrogance, stagnation, anger and laziness from our lives. That’s a nice thought.
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.