Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 7°C

Search

Video/Gallery: Tawny owl chick hatches two months early at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary after mild winter

11:32 24 February 2014

A baby tawny owl was handed in to Suffolk Owl Sanctuary. It is extremely unusual for one to be hatched so early in the year and they believe it is due to the mild weather. Andy Hulme, manager of the sanctuary, with the baby tawny owl.

A baby tawny owl was handed in to Suffolk Owl Sanctuary. It is extremely unusual for one to be hatched so early in the year and they believe it is due to the mild weather. Andy Hulme, manager of the sanctuary, with the baby tawny owl.

Archant

With its little beak and claws this two-week old tawny owl chick has amazed handlers at an owl sanctuary as the birds usually hatch later in the year.

The cute chick, called Valentine, is still many months away from being able to fend for itself and is being cared for at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, near Stowmarket.

The owls tend to hatch in late March/April but this fluffy creature would have been slowly developing from the first week in January, according to centre manager Andy Hulme.

Now Valentine, who was found on Tuesday morning in the grounds of West Suffolk Hospital, has a healthy appetite for a diet of mice.

“We were gobsmacked when we opened the box and saw a tawny owl because it’s so early,” Mr Hulme said.

“I have been here at the owl sanctuary for 17 years and never come across a tawny owl chick at this time of year.

“Tawny owls do not usually lay eggs until March. I think this has happened because of the mild weather; it’s totally unexpected.”

Valentine will need to have as little human contact as possible and will be kept in a covered enclosure when it is old enough to be on its own.

“It is very healthy and strong, it fed well on Tuesday night. It’s either blown out or fallen out of a tree,” Mr Hulme added.

He expects the chick to be cared for by handlers for several weeks before it is old enough to hunt for its own food. The chick, which is not mature enough to have developed a sex, will eventually be taken to a “Hack Box” in the wild.

It will still be given food but will be able to fly in its own habitat to hunt for its own prey before it decides to leave the box for good.

0 comments

A roadblock has been put in place on the London-bound carriageway of the A12 at Margaretting due to an ongoing incident.

A young woman was left unconscious and needing hospital treatment after being subjected to a “despicable” sexual assault, police have said.

It’s a day where tensions can run high for both Norwich and Ipswich fans.

Most people will have read some children’s books growing up – but how much can you remember about them?

From the fluttering of wings to the industrious turn of steam engine pistons, our iWitness members captured the theme of movement in a number of ways.

Film fans have criticised the way an Ipswich cinema dealt with fears a man was acting suspiciously during a showing of Fifty Shades Darker.

Three reported firearms incidents in just over a week in the same area of Colchester have prompted a call for vigilance from police.

Singer Ed Sheeran has been spotted at Carrow Road, as Norwich and Ipswich battle it out in the East Anglian derby.

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis shares one of her favourite pancake recipes for Pancake Day.

Strong feelings about the potentially “devastating” closure of community health services in Tendring were expressed during a protest march in Clacton yesterday.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24