Tuesday November 20th 2012
It’s been a quiet week at Muncaster, as the visitor season has now come to a close. I had to do an owl tour though. This one was different in that it was for a group of people who were visually impaired. They all came round with either their helpers, or their guide dogs. I had to conduct the tour ‘painting a picture with words’, which was bit challenging to start with, but as I progressed, I felt myself warming to this approach. It would seem the party involved were quite happy with this, as afterwards, they presented me with a bar of chocolate as a thank you. When the tour finished, the party re convened near the play ground, it would appear that all the guide dogs were having a break as well, as they were all off their leads and were frolicking about on the grass. They were all Black Labradors, about six or seven of them. It was quite surreal seeing all these guide dogs having fun on the play ground.
A day or so later, I was working in the weighing room in the Owl Garden, when I heard a big thump coming from outside. I checked and saw the Red Kites in their aviary flying about. I went to check, and saw that the right hand tree perch had in fact fallen down. I suppose this had been up for nearly 7 years. We’ll have to see the gardeners for a new one.
I had a funny experience in the quarantine unit last week. We are at present holding some owls which are due to go on to a private breeder. We have a Turkemenian Eagle Owl; an Indian Eagle Owl, and a Brown Wood Owl; they all have their own enclosure, needing cleaning every day. The Turkemenian and the Indian Eagle Owl were very well behaved, but the Brown Wood Owl started flying about, and ended up in the corridor. This isn’t a problem as such, as the corridor acts like a giant safety cage. We can’t lock the aviary doors from the inside. The owl started to fly up and down the corridor. I decided to lock the middle door in the corridor, thereby cutting down the corridor size by half. As the bird flew back towards the door window, (locked), at the end of the corridor nearest it’s aviary, I opened the aviary door, and placed myself next to the door, thereby blocking the corridor even more, making it easy for the owl to fly back into its aviary, only to end up with the owl attached to my shoulder with its talons. It was sat on my shoulder like a parrot, looking at me! I then walked back into the aviary whilst we be held each other’s eyes, and the bird promptly flew back on to its perch as if nothing had happened!
See you next week.
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