Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Video/Gallery: Raptured by raptors and the cheeky meerkats at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary

12:51 06 January 2014

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal.
Matthew Lott, with Lincoln, the Bald Eagle.

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal. Matthew Lott, with Lincoln, the Bald Eagle.

The team at a Suffolk animal centre which cares for birds of prey ahve to be prepared to deal with whatever comes through their doors all-year round.

Meerkats in the sunshine at The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal.Meerkats in the sunshine at The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal.

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, at Stonham Barns, near Stowmarket, cares for about 60 birds of prey found in differing states of health each year.

It has its own “raptor hospital” which is open 362 days a year for people to bring in the injured animals.

Centre manager, Andy Hulme, said even if a bird is found on one of the three bank holidays it is not open, a member of staff will be on hand at the end of a telephone.

“It really depends on the weather for how many injured birds we get come in,” he said.

“A couple of years ago we had 116 birds which was an incredible number. But the average is about 60 a year.

“We can get younger birds coming in around May/June time which may have fallen out of their nests and people have picked them up. We will get road traffic accidents – that’s the biggest cause for people bringing them in – it’s about 90% of injuries.

“Birds in the autumn – when the youngster are leaving the nest – some of them run into troubles. Starvation, or not catching enough food are the main causes. During the winter we get birds that come in starving.”

The centre has formed a good relationship with Stow Veterinary Group, in Stowmarket, which can provide higher levels of care if the bird is critically injured.

A team from the centre also play an important role in preserving and attempting to enhance the number of birds of prey in the region.

A total of 260 nest boxes for barn owls have been put up giving the beautiful creatures an environment to nurture their young.

“The two guys who run the project have access to go up to the nest boxes and check, it’s not something the general public can do because you need a licence,” Mr Hulme said.

“It’s an important part of what we do and all the records go to the British Trust of Ornithology.”

There can large differences in the numbers of young barn owls recorded. In 2012, 97 chicks were ringed compared to just 19 last year. Mr Hulme said weather was again a major factor which affected the numbers.

The centre is also known for its flying displays from its around 90 birds of prey.

Birds range from the intimidating bald eagle, which weighs in at eight pounds, to the smaller American kestrel which is just eight three ounces.

It is not only owls and birds of prey which inhabit the centre. Two pairs of red squirrels and 16 meerkats are a major reason why families are drawn to the centre.

The sanctuary, which is set in three acres of land, was established in 1995 but it was not until about six years later that it changed to becoming a registered charity.

It relies on three forms of funding – visitors coming to the centre, bird adoption fees and grants.

0 comments

Programme Name: Robot Wars - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: The House Robots Dead Metal, Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt - (C) Mentorn Media Scotland - Photographer: Alan Peebles

“For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs, toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer.

Flower left at Bramford Recreation Ground on Saturday to mark the third anniversary of toddler Ryan Ward's death.

Travellers have arrived at a playing field in Ipswich - almost three years to the day since a toddler was killed in a collision with a van at the same site.

Abellio Greater Anglia

A person has been pronounced dead after being struck by a train near Needham Market station.

A company in Gt. Blakenham has been making insoles for years but everything has suddenly taken off since Usain Bolt started using their products. Pictured is director Bente Smith-Rewse.

He is one of the most recognisable, decorated and influential sportsmen on the planet – but Usain Bolt is now endorsing a product made in the heart of Suffolk.

The snake captured by residents in St John's Road, Ipswich.

Brave neighbours came to the aid of a father and his three young daughters who were left stunned when they discovered an exotic-looking snake coiled in their back garden.

England's Harry Martin in 2014.

The greatest sporting spectacle on the planet is almost upon us once again.

Sandcastle building at Southwold

What are we doing today? The summer holidays are here and to help parents in Suffolk we are offering a guide to 12 days out on the Suffolk coast that won’t cost a penny.

Firefighters from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service attended.

Firefighters helped free a baby locked in a car in Ipswich today.

Roadworks currently ongoing at Majors Corner, Ipswich.

Work to upgrade the gas mains in Ipswich’s Woodbridge Road East has been postponed until August 1 following a request from Suffolk County Council.

The A11 in Thetford.

A motorcyclist is believed to have come off his vehicle on the A11 as a result of spilt treacle on the road.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24