November 14th 2009
The weather at present is absolutely horrendous; perpetual torrential rain plus high winds, which has resulted in some wind damage around the Centre. Nothing serious but sods law dictates that the damage is were you least need it, namely in the Indian Eagle Owl aviary in the breeding ground. A larchlap panel on the inside of the aviary has blown loose and is hanging at an odd angle. The Indian Eagle Owls are sat on eggs at present, which means that to go in the aviary and repair it will cause the female to come of the eggs and sit out in this weather getting wet while I sort the problem out. Having consulted with David, I will prop it up with a fencepost to stop it rattling about, when a break appears in the weather.
I must now apologize to any of you who have tried to E-mail me. Andy tells me that he has received phone calls from people who have tried to contact me but haven’t managed to do so. The problem was that the wrong E-mail* address was displayed on the website, but that has now been rectified.
Round the centre this week the offseason work has been progressing; two thirds of the owl garden aviaries have had their annual overhaul ready for the next breeding season. I have managed to make two new woodbark
fronted nestboxes for the Pearl Spotted Owlets and the Tengmalm’s Owls, which will hopefully, (fingers crossed), help towards successfully breeding these two species next year.
I have mentioned Chocolate the Eagle Owl in every blog I have written so far, this time being no exception. Some people who have been members of the Trust for a while will probably remember her predecessor
‘Rollo’. Unfortunately Rollo took it upon himself to ‘go on an extended vacation’ in the woods at the end of April during ‘Meet The Birds’.
It seems that his ‘wild switch’ was flicked to the ‘on’ position, as he immediately became unapproachable when the keepers tried to get near him, whereas before he had been very friendly and, (for an owl), very sociable.
He is still in this area, and there is evidence that he has learned all the tricks of the trade as he has been seen hunting, and is now to all intents and purposes a wild bird.
Both Vicky and myself have been on his trail as we have been out investigating sightings. At a nearby farm we saw him perched on a fence post, and as we cautiously approached him he observed us for a while until he obviously decided we had gotten near enough and flew off, only to settle down on a fence post a little further off. As we got nearer he repeated this again. He was going to be in control!
The thing that I have learned from this is that ‘Nature’ is apparently stronger than ‘Nurture’. Rollo is a wild animal, and is only doing what his genetic predisposition programmes him to
We do miss him however, but we hope he is happy now.
Rollo’s story reminds us that however hard we think our jobs here at the at the centre might be, it is obviously even harder for our birds.
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|World Owl Trust
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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.