Tuesday January 29th 2013
We received a wild Tawny Owl a week ago. It had been hit by a car, and was showing some signs of concussion. It was looking like it may have had torn retinas into the bargain. As I’ve mentioned before, Tawny Owls are very prone to this when they have suffered trauma. I was therefore very pleased to find out that when the bird was tried in one of our indoor aviaries, it promptly flew up to one of the perches, thereby demonstrating its ability to see. Each case is different, and has to be treated on its own merits. Looks like a happy ending for this one. All being well, this bird should be earmarked for release back where it came from.
The gardeners have been pruning the apple trees down in the Breeding Ground last week, which means that a few of the aviaries down there will be kitted out with brand new apple wood perches. Too good an opportunity to miss!
During my days off, I was travelling towards Barrow, and happened to catch a glimpse of bird from the edge of my vision; it was worth another look, as the shape was interesting, and lo and behold, it was a Red Kite! This was near Grizebeck. I had previously seen Red Kites near Kirkby in Furness. It’s always nice to see one of these birds, and for me this is a noteworthy event. I’m always checking out Buzzards when I see them in the air, as they have a very similar flight pattern to Red Kites. Common Buzzards and Red Kites are what are known as ‘broad wings’, birds which specialize in soaring on the thermal updrafts. Both species may be seen floating round in lazy circles; both species have slightly upturned wings, displaying a shallow ‘V’ when seen flying towards you. The Red Kite’s wings are slightly narrower, and off course the forked tail feathers are probably this bird’s most distinctive feature, whereas the Common Buzzard has a round fan shaped tail. We’re actually quite lucky in this part of the world, as in some parts of the UK, even Buzzards are a rarity.
See you next week
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