Feathered friends have hoot at home

CUTE, aren't they?Bird lovers are today celebrating two new feathered arrivals at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.Tiny, a burrowing owl, hatched on April 21, while Auckland, the Boobok Owl, was born on May 6.

James Marston

CUTE, aren't they?

Bird lovers are today celebrating two new feathered arrivals at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

Tiny, a burrowing owl, hatched on April 21, while Auckland, the Boobok Owl, was born on May 6.

Tiny is the brother of Titch who is already a resident at the sanctuary at Stonham Barns.

Sanctuary manager Andy Hulme said: “He is a native bird of America also known as the American version of the little owl, but with really long legs.

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“Contrary to what its name suggests, the burrowing owl doesn't actually burrow, but they are highly terrestrial.

“They live in gopher burrows in the ranching and desert states of America such as Utah, Texas, Colarado and Arizona.”

Now five weeks old, Tiny is just beginning to learn how to fly.

Mr Hulme said: “Once he's old enough Tiny will join Titch as a member of our display squad.

“If you build an artificial rabbit warren with pipes, the owls will go down into the tunnels and pop up in different places.

“Tiny is mischievous and is doing a lot of exploring. He's being fed on mice and day-old chicks.

“He is flapping his wings and jumping around a lot.”

Burrowing owls live up to 12 years old in captivity.

Meanwhile, Auckland is beginning to grow feathers and spends most of his time preening.

Mr Hulme said: “Booboks are not native to the UK but come from Australia and parts of New Zealand.

“They are also known as 'more-pork' because of the sound that they make and considered to be the Australian version of the tawny owl.

“They are generally nocturnal and roost by day in thick foliage.

“Auckland's parents, Tamsin and Darwin, are here at the centre and when fully grown he will also be a member of our display team.”

Auckland, who was hatched and incubated by his parents, is now being hand-reared.

Mr Hulme said: “We are delighted we bred him here.”

Are you an owl fan? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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