Ipswich’s new ‘Mabel’ has a new name - as chosen by you!

Park patrol at Christchurch Park believe the new owl is the chick of Mabel, who previously built a n

Park patrol at Christchurch Park believe the new owl is the chick of Mabel, who previously built a nest in the same tree Picture: CHRIS LEGENDRE (@REEDERWILDLIFE) - Credit: CHRIS LEGENDRE (@REEDERWILDLIFE)

The people of Ipswich have spoken - Mabel the Tawny owl’s chick, which has moved into her old perch in Christchurch Park, has been named.

After a Tawny owl took up residence is Mabel's favourite tree in the heart of Ipswich, park rangers came to believe the owl was actually one of Mabel's chicks returning to her nest.

Now, after 164 votes, the public have decided the new owl's name will be - Matilda.

Lisa Stannard, borough council parks manager, said: "We are so pleased so many people took part in the Star's competition and delighted that Matilda is the name chosen for our newest resident.

"Like Mabel, Matilda is already something of a celebrity and we would ask visitors not to disturb her when they go past her lofty perch.

Matilda is thought to be one of Mabel's chicks Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Matilda is thought to be one of Mabel's chicks Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

"She is a beautiful bird and we want to keep her happy."

The gender of the bird is thought to remain a mystery as it will be very difficult for wildlife experts to establish without disturbing Matilda, but the name will remain regardless.

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Mabel became one of the park's best-loved attractions after first being spotted in 2007. Traditionally timid creatures, owls usually stay out of sight of humans and remain nocturnal - but not Mabel, who would happily sit out during the daylight.

Despite the poll shared on this newspaper's website, one young owl enthusiast took naming the bird into her own creative hands.

The Tawny owl, which appears to be as comfortable posing for pictures as Mabel, was named by the peo

The Tawny owl, which appears to be as comfortable posing for pictures as Mabel, was named by the people of Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Ms Stannard added: "We were thrilled to receive a lovely drawing of the owl from a young girl called Darcey, who came up with the name Babel by combining Mabel and baby. A lovely suggestion, Darcey, but others have chosen Matilda."

There are only 20,000 breeding pairs of tawny owl left in the UK. Their iconic 'twit twoo' call is actually produced by two owls at a time - female tawny's make the 'twit' call and males respond with the 'twoo'.

Tawny owls only lay two to four eggs per clutch, so for Matilda to return to her nest is a sign the park is an ideal environment for the bird.

It is thought by rangers the park is popular with owls because it has many veteran trees for nesting and plenty of woodland and grass areas to hunt in.

A statue of Mabel carved from wood is in place at the foot of the tree where Matilda resides Picture

A statue of Mabel carved from wood is in place at the foot of the tree where Matilda resides Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The figure for this vote were correct as of November 26, 2019.

A beautiful Tawny owl, Matilda is visible in the northern part of Christchurch Park in Ipswich Pictu

A beautiful Tawny owl, Matilda is visible in the northern part of Christchurch Park in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant