Saturday September 25th 2010
You might remember a character I told you about a while ago; namely ‘Homer’ the male Turkemenian Eagle Owl, who ‘failed’ in his brief as an Eagle Owl. He has been admitted to the wildlife hospital. He was picked up on Monday the 20th of September. He was wet and chilled, as well as weak and thin. He had however, been eating like a horse, so we know he had been getting plenty of sustenance. He went into the hospital for observation, but by Wednesday was displaying some worrying symptoms. He had lost his sense of balance. We noticed this when we put him in the Quarantine, where a pen was free, after the release of ‘Riffraff’, the bald headed Buzzard. He had lost his sense of balance, and his eyes appeared to have trouble focusing. It looked like a classic case of a ‘bang on the head’. I took him to our vet, who on examining him said he had a detached retina in his right eye, and that this might have caused his balance impairment. Homer was kept at the vet’s for a few days. He underwent tests to see whether there was an underlying cause. Subsequently he received the all clear, and came home to the Owl Centre on Friday. He is still in the Quarantine, as he still isn’t 100%. We will have to keep our fingers crossed that he recovers.
Another casualty we’ve had this week is a Long-eared Owl picked up from the Laybourne aviary in the Main Display. I picked it up during the afternoon. It was lying on the ground with it’s wings spread out. It turns out that this bird has developed a twisted leg. It’s possible that this individual, which came to us as an adult 11 years ago, is quite advanced in years, and this deformity may be born of Arthritis. The long and the short of it is that this bird no longer moves in a normal manner, and this may have affected it’s ability to interact with others of it’s own species, causing it to be attacked, which is when I picked it up. Whatever the outcome, I don’t think it will ever go back into the Laybourne again.
There’s been a lot of activity this week here at the centre in preparation for the Annual General Meeting, which is taking place at the ‘Stirk House Hotel’, near Clitheroe in Lancashire. Everybody from the Trust is going, that is to say everybody except myself and Trystan, who will be here holding the fort and hosting Meet The Birds. The show still has to go on. Vicky will be representing the keepers, and will be taking a few owl ambassadors, namely ‘Chocolate the Eagle Owl’, and ‘Tythe’ the White-breasted Barn Owl. The AGM will be followed by a dinner, and a talk by this year’s speaker; Roy Dennis, who has extensive experience with diurnal raptor conservation, and especially Osprey. It promises to be an interesting talk.
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