Saturday January 23rd 2010
Weather wise, things have calmed down a little, and we are on an ‘even keel’ again, so we have managed to carry on with some of our off season maintenance work. Because of the prolonged icy conditions over this last month, this has for health and safety reasons, not been possible for a while. Having said that, we have, at the time of writing, only two aviaries left in the ‘Breeding Ground’ to overhaul, ready for the breeding season.
I suppose the breeding season has already started, as not only have the ‘Indian Eagle Owls’ successfully bred, but we have had fertile eggs from the ‘White-faced Owls’ in the ‘Breeding Ground’. The eggs were only slightly developed, which is probably due to the extreme cold, as the female had been incubating them for a number of weeks, before abandoning them. We also have a female Mackinder’s Eagle Owl on eggs in the ‘Breeding Ground’ at the moment. She goes by the name of ‘Niala’, and her other half is known as ‘Bruce’. This pair bred successfully two seasons ago. All our Mackinder’s appear to be courting at present, if our males’ attempts at ‘smearing’ dead day old chicks round the faces of our females is anything to go by!
David has managed to complete another aviary partition in the ‘Breeding Ground’, thereby enabling a few bird movements.
Up here in the ‘Main Display’, we have moved some of the ‘European Eagle Owls’ around. ‘Ambrose’, our breeding male has been moved back in with his females, and his son ‘Fruitloop’ has been moved to our temporary holding facility, before being moved to another centre on Friday the 29th of January. This has meant that ‘Jimmy’ the Eagle Owl has been moved into the ‘mews’ aviary in the ‘Owl Garden’.
‘Ambrose’ appears to have immediately settled back in again, and I haven’t seen him this contented for a while. When I go into the Eagle Owl aviary to clean in the mornings, things seem a lot more ‘harmonious’.
We are now entering the last week in January, and we will have to think about commencing ‘flying bird training’ in the next fortnight or so, ready for the flying season. No sooner is the festive season over and done with, before we are facing ‘Half term week’, which is the ‘fore runner’ of the visitor season proper.
Michelle and Trystan have been installing some new perches round the ‘Owl Garden’. As I have said before, when ‘old’ trees have are felled for safety reasons, this creates a ‘window of opportunity’,and in this case, the ‘specimen’ that was cut down, was quite ‘hoary’ and covered in moss, which has created quite a ‘jungly’ effect round the centre.
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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.