The American Barred Owl was calling last night. ‘Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all’ is how people describe their call. The Great Horned Owl was calling too. Two of the most enigmatic sounds of American night time, hooting through the spring night. This isn’t America though; this is the Scottish Owl Centre, one of very few places in the British Isles that you will hear these two owls together.
The American Barred Owls have only been at the centre for a short time, coming from two separate collections and only meeting when they were released into the aviary here. The female settled quickly, choosing her favourite place to perch and hasn’t been phased by much since. The male on the other hand was nervous and jumpy since his arrival, mostly perching up at the back of the aviary on the edge of the nest shelf. It’s good to know then, that he is at least comfortable in his new home to be calling at night. He has even been looking more relaxed during the daytime. I hope his hooting means he is trying to woo the female; it would be amazing if they were to breed.
With the night time serenade over by the light of day, I found all of the owls safe and well when I did my morning check. The elderly Long-eared Owl that has been cared for in our quieter off-view area for the last couple of days was still alive and had eaten a little overnight. Her condition continues to deteriorate slowly. I have moved her from an outdoor aviary into the Prep Room overnight once again. I wish there was some way to help her recover but some things just can’t be ‘fixed’; you can’t rewind the hands of time. All we can do is make her comfortable and hope for the best for her.
This left me feeling quite sad most of the day again, with my flying display talks being quite below par for my usual standards. Once again I was pleased with Prince in the afternoon show. Daily practice seems to be working for him, and today he showed a bit of flair in his flight. He even flies up to the high perch in one corner of the arena without much encouragement. I still haven’t managed to get Lofty back up there since the speaker feedback scared him in a recent show. Prince needs a little more time ‘socialising’ to remind him of how to behave properly when sitting on the glove, but his flying is going really well now. If I get chance tomorrow I’d like to spend some more time with Prince, perhaps on a walkabout around the centre.
I think that’s about it for tonight’s blog, so until tomorrow, goodnight.