A return to freezing cold temperatures, as low as minus 5 overnight, meant that today was a good day to do very little and just keep cosie and warm! I was expecting visitors and aimed to get my daily tasks done early so I could give them a tour of the site, and then nip off to the very handy and excellent cafe just across the courtyard. Some days when there is such a hard frost you can see it on the feathers of the owls – a testament to how good their insulation is, as escaping body heat would have melted that frost – but today I saw none. Evidently the birds had all kept under enough shelter this time.
I must have tempted fate just a little too much yesterday when I said how good it was to have the hose fittings and standpipes all fitted with cladding to fend off the cold. Yes, they were all frozen today! As were the hosepipes themselves, frozen to the ground in one case! Oh well, these things happen, it is winter after all.
When my visitors arrived early afternoon I gave them a tour as promised, then as a surprise asked if they would help fly an owl. Smiles all round! As well as getting the owls used to flying in the display arena, it is very useful to get practice flying to new people, ready for working with volunteers and in front of the public – plus it’s just fun! Prince the Ashy Faced Owl was vocal as usual and very keen to be fed. Out of his aviary and through to the Indoor arena he hadn’t looked round at his new audience. I wondered if he might be put off by the presence of new people – he had been distracted by the joiners watching him fly earlier in the week – but today that didn’t bother him at all. He was so hungry he didn’t care! There was no hesitation whatsoever about flying to a different person, Prince just flew wherever the food was straight away. Once he was so keen he flew before checking out where his landing spot was and landed on a shoulder – well Ashy Faced Owls are found on the island of Tortuga, maybe they were the original Pirates parrot?!! All together now; Arrr!
I was very pleased again. Prince flew to the gloves or to perches and went wherever he was asked to. He is such a good bird, eager to please – as long as he gets all the attention he demands!
So that was that for today. I’ll sign off this short day with a picture as usual. Today I bring you a picture of Oulu the Great Grey Owl seemingly not knowing which way is up! Not only can owls turn their heads almost all the way round, they can turn them upside down too! Don’t try this at home kids!
Til next blog, gnite!