Record breeding year for World Owl Trust




2010 is proving to be a record breaking breeding year for the World Owl Trust at Muncaster Castle near Ravenglass in the Western Lake District, with 21 owl species raising more than 50 chicks.

MacKinder’s eagle owls, spectacled owls, white-faced owls, western screech owls, long-eared owls and European scops owls have all bred for the first time, and there have also been five long-eared owl chicks, five northern hawk owl chicks, four great grey owl chicks and four little owl chicks from the more experienced breeders.

Spectacled Owl at the World Owl Trust, Muncaster

Spectacled Owl at the World Owl Trust, Muncaster

The World Owl Trust also hold a daily ‘Meet the Birds’ event at 2.30 pm each afternoon where members of the public can get up close to some of the adult birds and see them flying.

Most of the owls only breed once a year but if they lay their first eggs early, some will raise chicks in the spring and then again in the summer. Two pairs of white-faced owls and a pair of ferruginous pygmy owls are already sitting on their second clutches of eggs so visitors can expect to see more new arrivals in the coming weeks.

Most of the first-time breeders were young birds but the male MacKinder’s eagle owl, now paired with a five year old female, is twenty-two years old.

Andy Chafe from the World Owl Trust says;

“We’re delighted 2010 has been such a successful year so far, which is testament to the effort we made in preparation for this breeding season.

During the latter months of 2009, aviaries were renovated, disinfected and re-branched, new nest boxes were constructed and sited and owls were transferred to and from other centres to make up potential new breeding pairs.”

The World Owl Trust is the world’s premier owl conservation organisation and promotes scientific research, habitat creation and restoration and a UK national nest-box scheme, together with captive breeding programmes.

For over 30 years, The Trust has worked unstintingly to ensure that endangered owls the world over survive far into this new millennium for future generations to enjoy.

Help an owl

The World Owl Trust also operates a wildlife rehabilitation unit where injured birds in particular and other animals are received and cared for until they are well enough to return to the wild.

The World Owl Centre at Muncaster Castle is home to over 100 owls from around 50 different species and sub-species, some of which are not commonly found in other collections.  They range from the biggest owl in the world – the European Eagle Owl – to the tiny Pygmy and Scops Owls.

The World Owl Trust is a charity which relies for much of its work on public donations.  Owls can be adopted from as little as £30 for a small owl, which will be enough to feed it for a whole year. Your name will be put on a plaque which will be on the owl’s aviary and you will be sent an adoption certificate and a twice-yearly update on the owl’s progress.

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