New Arrivals at S.O.S.

Spring has now well and truly sprung at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary this week with the arrivals of our first babies of the year.
This morning, whilst one of our falconers was doing his routine daily check on our expectant mums, we discovered that the stork had already delivered to some of our birds!  Phoenix and Huron, our resident Great Horned Owls, are now the proud parents of two chicks; Meluka our Malaysian Wood Owl has one chick; and Dewhurst and Forrest - a pair of Harris Hawks - also have one new arrival.

Two new Great Horned Owls

A young Harris Hawk

Meluka and her offspring (it's in there somewhere!)

If you'd like to see some of the young birds being fed by hand, click here.

So now is a good time to for a word in general about the breeding season ahead for wild owls and other birds of prey, as you too may be in for some surprises if you're out and about in the countryside. One of our main objectives as a charity is to protect, care and tend to wild owls and other birds of prey that may be injured.  During the breeding season we get quite busy in our hospital due to members of the public bringing in young owl Tawny and sometimes Barn Owl chicks that they may have found along hedgerows or by the side of the road. Each type of youngster should normally, however, be treated differently.

Baby Tawnies found in this way are often what are known as “branchers”. This is because they very often have fallen from the branch during an exploratory excursion from the nest. But in most cases, never fear: the parents will usually be keeping a watchful eye on the youngster whilst hidden safely above and will normally help its offspring back to the nest by encouraging it to scrabble back up into the tree.  So unless the bird is obviously injured or abandoned, it is probably better left where you found it, rather than putting it through the stress of a journey to us, and eventual return to the wild.

However if a Barn Owl chick falls from the nest then it is likely to be left unattended as Barn Owls tend to leave their young if they fall.  So if you spot a Baby Barn Owl on the floor, then help is needed - call your local vet or us for advice on what to do. Click here for further information on
orphaned & injured owls.

Chipmunks ahoy!

Finally, back on the breeding front, we were also surprised to find 8 new baby chipmunks in our enclosure over the weekend, as Dean and Matt went to move them into their new, newly completed home.  They are really cute - why not come along and pay them a visit soon? We look forward to seeing you.

Anna Harris