More new arrivals...

This week S.O.S warmly welcomed Tiny, our new male Burrowing Owl, to the Sanctuary. 
Tiny has been brought in as a long-awaited companion for Titch, our female Burrowing Owl, who has been with us since early last year (for more information on
Titch, click here). Raised locally by a private breeder, young Tiny is Suffolk born and bred and comes from the same home as Titch and also Baloo, our Indian Eagle Owl. In our efforts to provided the best surrounding for the owls in our charge, wherever possible we like to keep them in pairs and so we hope that Tiny and Titch prove to be a perfect pairing!


Burrowing Owls in their natural habitat... and Titch as a youngster

The Burrowing Owl is a small owl with with a round face, no ear tufts and what look like disproportionately long legs. It is a species normally found across north and south America and whose favourite habitat is open landscapes and deserts with areas with low vegetation, where they roost in burrows. Though often active during the day, Burrowing Owls do most of their hunting between dusk until dawn, feeding on a wide variety of prey and changing food habits according to location and time of year. Beetles and grasshoppers form a large part of their diet, supplemented by small mammals like mice, rats, gophers, and ground squirrels. Burrowing Owl live up to 9 years in the wild.
Following on from our previous blog about some of the other new arrivals at Stonham this Spring (see
"New Arrivals" and "First Lady, Second Generation") we’ve now come up with a suitable name for one of our baby European Eagle Owls. We thought it best to call at least one by a name that was linked to his mother's, and as Rheia is the name of a Greek goddess, our choice is Hades because, as you can see from the accompanying pictures, he is indeed one hell of an owlet!

Hades looks like a bundle of fun now - but his sheer size as a
youngster and strong talons illustrate that he will soon be
a quantity to be reckoned with!

Now with a few weeks under his belt, along with our new Malaysian Wood Owl Bali, Hades has moved from his first home - the rudimentary but well protected floor of our falconer's hut, where they have both spent the last 5 weeks happily crashing into everything in their path - into a crèche aviary.

Hades & Bali together in the crèche aviary, where they are beginning to fledge

This provides a secure space for young owls to stay during the day, where they can adapt to the outside world, the climate and the enquiring scrutiny of visitors at S.O.S; and also stretch their wings and fledge as they grow their all-important flight feathers through. At night, whilst the evenings are still chilly, they are brought back indoors but once old enough, they will take up residence in their own full size aviaries at S.O.S!

As always, we'll keep you posted on their progress.

Andrew Farrow