25 June 2014

The year's first rehab owls

As part of our work monitoring breeding Barn Owls in the county, we also help the guys at the Screech Owl Sanctuary in their rehabilitation work. They do some great work taking in and rehabilitating orphaned and injured owls and before they're released we drop in to ring them to help monitor post-release survival. This has been really successful in recent years, with a few subsequent reports showing that birds survive well after a spell in care. This year has been really quiet at the sanctuary (is that a good thing?), and this afternoon we ringed the first birds admitted so far this year.

Barn Owl chick needing some tlc after being found
on a barn floor, but looking pretty good now
Three orphaned Tawny Owl chicks on the left and a road casualty adult on the right,
all looking much happier and healthier after a stint in care. These birds are very
close to being released now, currently residing in their own private, undisturbed aviary
All birds are ringed with standard BTO rings before release

Whilst most of the birds admitted are Barn and Tawny Owls, we have also ringed one Short-eared Owl which was found with a broken wing near The Lizard. It didn't look good for a while, but after surgery the bird was fit enough to be released back at The Lizard. The sad end to the story is that this bird was killed by a car at Roche (53km from The Lizard) just 25 days later, presumably on its way back north to breed.

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