Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Wirral owl sanctuary

I went to a talk by Terry from the Wirral owl sanctuary at Pensby Library on Thursday.

He brought along some of his owls including a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) .

A Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)

And a Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo).   Tthe Eagle Owl is becoming more common in the UK and is showing signs that it is becoming established, mirroring the recent rapid increase in the Buzzard population with which it shares some similarities, particularly prey and habitat.

This Eagle Owl has a wingspan of 5' 2" but thay can be up to 7'.

According to a BBC TV programme (2005), a pair bred for several years in a valley in Ministry of Defence land in North Yorkshire. At the time the program was made, they had reared 20 young to independence, and three young were in the nest. The female was illegally shot dead in 2006. Nothing was known of what happened to those 20 young, except that one of them electrocuted itself on power lines in Shropshire. Another bird has been sighted several times in Heaton, Bolton, Lancashire. The BBC also reported a pair nesting and aggressively protecting their brood from dog-walkers on a nearby footpath in Lancashire, England, in late May 2007. A new pair in Bowland, Lancashire, have been attracting public attention due to having successfully reared three young to flight. There have also been reports of a further two pairs active in the local area as well as another pair breeding chicks in Northumberland in 2005. Eagle Owls have also been confirmed breeding in Scotland, with sightings of wild birds confirmed in Galloway, Invernesshire, and Sutherland. The World Owl Trust now believes that the Eagle Owl should be added to the British Ornithologists Union's list of official British birds - indicating the significance of the increase in wild pairs in Britain. (Information from Wikipedia)


  1. Very interesting. The eagle owl is especially striking in appearance.

  2. The owls are so beautiful. It's sad when they die by human hand, either deliberately or by accident (shot or electrocuted on the power lines). A few years ago, an owl which was intent on its prey swooped down across the highway and smashed into our windshield. It all happened so fast we couldn't avoid the collision. Fortunately the windshield didn't break, but it frightened the life out of me and the poor owl never knew what hit it. I guess the only lucky one was the mouse (or whatever it was) that got away.
    Canadian Chickadee

  3. I adore the owls...their gentle movement. I've not had the opportunity many times in my life to observe them though...very few.

    Such a treat.

  4. Wonderful! Looks like it was well worth going to the talk. I do love barn owls.

  5. They're lovely. Trying to remember but I'm not sure if I ever saw a wild owl. Probably not since I'm never out in the woods at night...

  6. Great pics and interesting post. I recently learned that the owl's eye doesn't rotate... hence the head's rotational ability. Who knew? Not me.

  7. I already knew that, Don, but what I didn't know until Thursday was that if the owl's eyes are black it hunts by night whereas if they are orange and black they hunt by both day and night. You live and learn!


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