Tuesday 25th March 2014
We’ve got some good news this week. After residing at the World Owl Centre for the last decade, the Pharaoh Eagle Owls have finally got their act together and produced offspring. This pair came over from the Middle East over ten years ago. They originally spent time in what was then our fully licensed quarantine unit. We’d almost given up hope of them ever breeding. Over the weekend both Terry Evison and I were speculating about the Pharaohs, as they have been getting a morning feed since they’ve been due. On Saturday morning after their morning feed, the male came straight down for food and went back to the nest box with it. A very encouraging sign we thought. On Sunday Michelle and Vicky actually saw a little head bobbing up and down in the nest box, as the female came out for a groom. Brilliant!
The breeding season is now well underway. We have African Spotted owlets, as well as Mackinder’s Eagle Owlets, and now also Pharaoh Eagle Owlets. I suspect we also have American and Dark-breasted Barn Owlets in the Breeding Ground as well, although this isn’t confirmed as yet.
Millie Clarke has been out and about, and tells me that she is getting feedback from local people telling her what ‘their’ wild Barn Owls have been up to, and which wild breeding pairs have survived the winter. It would appear that things are kicking off early this year.
To kind of back that up, I was near Grizebeck this weekend, when I looked up and saw two Common Buzzards in the air, and one of them had something in its talons. It would appear they might have been strengthening the pair bond, all important stuff around this time of year.
Anyway, the 2014 visitor season kicks off on the 29th of March this year, which is this coming Saturday. All being well, we should be fully prepared for this. It promises to be an interesting year.
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.