Saturday 30th April 2011
On the ‘Old Calendar’ this is Beltaine Eve; a festival celebrating the bursting forth of new life. All of nature is in tandem with this, certainly at these latitudes. What’s fascinating is how all the more exotic species of owls from around the world have matched their step to this. As things stand, we have many species from all continents either on eggs, or expecting to hatch, or already hatched. We found Long-eared Owlets under the Pendulous Sedge in the Laybourne Aviary. We have at least one Southern Horned Owlet; we have at least one Indian Eagle Owlet. The Sunda Scops Owls and the Indian Scops Owls should have hatched by now. The Ferruginous Pygmy Owls in the Breeding Ground are also looking like they are breeding. This morning while I was in the Breeding Ground, the male American Barn Owl of our original breeding pair was out waiting for food, and immediately took some back into the nest box for his female. I could hear noises coming from inside, but couldn’t be certain whether it was owlet noise, as when I went back to listen more closely, the noise stopped, but why else would he have taken food into the box?
What’s also very interesting is the fact that we have both our pairs of Tengmalm’s Owls on eggs, and if fertile, we expect them to have hatched round about now. Fingers crossed.
As I have mentioned before, the year is full of potential, and will reveal itself over the next few weeks.
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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.