Tuesday 8th October 2013
We had a booking for ‘Owls on Gauntlets’ on Saturday the 5th of October. This was after hours. We used Fidget the Barn Owl and Toby the Tawny Owl for this. It is an optional addition for weddings held at Muncaster Castle. What was quite unusual this time was the fact that just about every guest wanted to hold the owls while they had their pictures taken.
Audiences have been very good during this last week. I have managed to recruit, on average, around 2 new members or adoptions per talk last week. Audiences have traditionally always been good around this time of year.
We had an ‘interesting’ phone call yesterday. Somebody had found a dead European Eagle Owl near Calder Bridge. The bird had anklets on its legs, as well as an IBR ring. The point I’m getting at here, is that the sightings of ‘wild’ Eagle Owls is getting more common. Having said that, I believe that most, as in this case, are in fact ex captive escapees. This species, (in my experience), is quite temperamental when handled and flown; that may be one of the reasons why many of them have the opportunity to escape in the first place. This may have a bearing on why they have such a fearsome reputation. Many of them find themselves as escapees in an urban environment; a completely unnatural situation. Is it any wonder, that when faced with possible starvation, they start predating on the more readily supplied animals in this environment; domestic cats and small dogs? As usual, these are manmade problems.
Last week, one of our juvenile Northern Hawk Owls went to an Owl Centre in the North East. As it is an 'annex A' species, it needed either; a closed ring, or a microchip. As we don’t like to disturb our birds while they are rearing their broods, we tend to microchip our young annex A species. We had three juvenile Hawk Owls which needed doing. This was done by Peter Frost Pennington, who is a qualified veterinary surgeon. This involves a ‘needle gun’ which quite literally injects the microchip under the skin. This doesn’t harm the birds, but it makes me ‘wince’ to say the least, as it is a very wide bore needle. Having said that, everything went to plan, and the birds went straight back into their aviary and flew up to the high perches. Later that same day, one of them went to the other collection.
See you next week
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