Wednesday 30th of December 2009
I hope you all had a pleasant time during Yule.
Here at the centre we have in fact had a ‘White Christmas’ for the first time in years. Whilst it all looked quite picturesque, it did cause one or two problems round the centre. The hard frost meant that the water had to be turned off at the mains, and all our outside taps had to be lagged as a precautionary measure to prevent burst pipes.
The temporary thaw during the daylight hours caused the snow on the footpaths to turn to ice, which meant that a visit to the owls was potentially quite hazardous. The keepers spent most of the last few days removing the ice from round the centre, thereby making everything much safer, should anybody wish visit during the festive season.
On the livestock side of things, everybody, both feathered and ‘un-feathered’ appears to have gotten through the cold snap unscathed so far. We have managed to visually confirm ‘two’ owlets with our breeding pair of Indian Eagle Owls in the ‘Breeding Ground’, which is brilliant. The Indian Eagle Owl used to be known as the ‘Bengal Eagle Owl’ until the scientists decided to change it’s name, and was at one time a very common bird in collections round the British Isles. So much so that it became very hard to home young birds, and most collections didn’t bother breeding Bengals anymore as they were so common. As they are also quite long lived, it was easy to take for granted that the ‘Bengal’ was safe in captivity. The population of every species in a captive environment requires careful management, even common ones. Before we knew it, all we were left with were aging individuals, and there might have been a real danger of this species dying out in captivity. To avoid this, David, ( the collection manager), has gathered some unrelated individuals of several species in a similar plight, in an attempt to ‘bump start’ breeding again. The fact that our Indian Eagle Owls have managed to breed is an encouraging sign. All that is left for me now is to sign off and wish everybody a ‘Happy New Year’.
See you in 2010,
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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.