Here’s a tale sure to turn some heads – six tawny owls have been released into the wild after falling from trees as infants. The owlets had a hoot being cared for by Cuan Wildlife Rescue in Shropshire before their release. They are thought to have fallen while “branching”, in which baby owls leave the nest to walk and jump around in trees at night. Fran Hill of the rescue centre said owls were “lovely animals to care for”.
Unable to find where the birds had come from, Cuan staff, based in Much Wenlock, spent a few months feeding and caring for the animals – which were aged between two and five weeks old – while they developed their flight feathers. The owls were released at a site in Shifnal after Cuan approached landowner Bradford Estates following a struggle to find suitable release locations. They were moved to a purpose-built aviary there where they spent three days before being sent back into the wild.
Ms Hill, hospital manager, said: “We have owls come to us for a range of reasons, but most of the tawny owls come to us after they have lost their footing while branching. In most situations, we return the owlets to their nests, but it’s not always possible – such as when people find them and bring them in, but then can’t remember which tree they found them under.”
Ms Hill said because owls did not fly when it was raining to avoid getting waterlogged, the woods where they were sent would provide ideal shelter and plenty of food. Bradford Estates has also installed owl boxes to aid the programme.
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