Well the female Long-eared Owl made it through another night and another day, but is still fading. Today she bravely tried to eat but remained in the ‘pet carrier’ box even though the door was open. As I said yesterday at least she has somewhere safe and quiet. I’ve put her indoors in the box again overnight, and will check her first thing in the morning.
I checked her nestbox today and found three eggs. I was a bit puzzled that one looked larger and a different shape from the other two, as if they were from different birds. Either way they were stone cold and upon opening them up they were clear and infertile. The pair of Long-eared Owls she shared the aviary with both perch down at the opposite end of the pen, and show no signs of being interested in breeding. All the same, I removed the eggs and cleaned the woodchip nesting material inside the box to get it ready in case the pair should choose to breed after all.
Our flying displays were popular today, with the sunshine bringing more people out to Polkemmet Country Park and to the Owl Centre. I flew Lofty and Sarabi in the morning display as usual, and as usual they both flew well. It’s nice to see the trained birds perform so consistently well day to day. I did the talk and flew the birds in the afternoon display too, flying Prince, Kenya and Sarabi again.
During the lunchtime show I am ‘back stage’ preparing one bird to go out and putting the last one back in it’s aviary. I enjoy spending time with Bruce the Southern Boobook Owl as he is a very comical character. I have flown him once but even while he is sat on my glove waiting to go into the arena he is fun to be around. Some owls wait patiently, some are nervous, Bruce is alert and hyper, making little chirruping noises that remind me of a phone ring tone.
We’re hoping to bring Hudson the Great Horned Owl into the public displays this week. He will need a couple more days training to get over his confusion regarding the speaker system but he is a ‘no nonsense’ bird in flight, willing to go wherever instructed. One thing I’m finding interesting about seeing the different kinds of owl flying in the arena is the different flight patterns. You would expect one large owl to fly just the same as another large owl, but Sarabi flies very differently from Broo, quite slow and sedate, even though they are both kinds of Eagle Owl. Hudson flies differently from either of them too, low and fast. I’ll try him out in a training session in the arena with the mic and speaker system on and see if he fares any better than last time.
That’s all for tonight folks, ‘til tomorrow gnite.