Tuesday May 29th 2012
I came in this morning expecting the Great Grey Owlets to have started branching out from the nest basket. This is the first aviary I clean in the mornings. This pair of Great Grey Owls is usually very laid back, but when their offspring leave the nest basket, they undergo a startling transformation. Usually when I enter the aviary, they might blink lazily at me, with an ‘oh it’s you again’ kind of look, but when their youngsters are out playing, as soon as the aviary door is open, their sole intent is to take the top of my head off! I’m happy to say the owlets are still in the basket! Sods law dictates that when the parents are this protective, this is the time when you need to go into the aviary to clean out the pond that has been conveniently soiled by the owls defecating in it. Amongst the keepers this is called ‘keeper baiting’.
We appear to have a Long-eared Owlet crèche in the Laybourne aviary; over the weekend as I was doing my rounds, I noticed a whole pile of owlets in the bottom box by the lower wall. I pointed this out to a visitor who was armed with a massive camera which looked more like a piece of small artillery. The ensuing pictures were probably very good.
I managed to see one of our Mottled Owlets for the first time over the weekend as well. Fingers crossed the Mottled Owls manage to raise them successfully.
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.