Star owl's happy returns into adulthood

VIDEO Many happy returns Loki!Today the Evening Star sponsored Snowy Owl is celebrating his third birthday - which marks the beginning of his adulthood.

MANY happy returns Loki!

Today the Evening Star sponsored Snowy Owl is celebrating his third birthday - which marks the beginning of his adulthood.

Staff at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary where he lives are hoping the birthday will see him snap out of the strop his has been in during the time equivalent to his teenage years.

Matthew Lott, assistant head falconer at the Stonham Aspal sanctuary, said in many ways, Loki had a personality resembling a moody adolescent boy.

He said: “He is very territorial and temperamental; he always tries to show us who is boss.

“It's just hormones but basically he's behaving like you might expect of a stropy teenager.

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“He keeps to himself and isn't friendly in fact he might try to kill all of the other birds here. He's one of the largest ones here.

“We're hoping he'll get past this stage soon.”

Unfortunately for Loki, aptly named after the Norse god of mischief, he will not be able to soar the skies on his special day as it is the time of year that his parents, Snowdrop and Norse, breed.

Mr Lott explained that because the older owls no longer recognise Loki as their son they would become aggressive if they saw another snowy owl in their territory, which may disrupt their breeding.

Instead Loki will have to content himself today with a birthday treat of a rat.

Mr Lott said: “He won't get a birthday cake but we'll give him a rat.

“It's rich meat so it's like chocolate for him in a way.

“It will be a while before he can fly again. We have to wait until his parents stop breeding.

“Currently three of their eggs have hatched and we are expecting more soon. If his parents saw him flying it would be stressful for all of them.

“They are a temperamental species.”

Loki's older brother Fetlar was a favourite at the sanctuary but escaped in 2004 and was found dead near Dunwich.

Loki has been reared to fill his place as the sanctuary's top attraction.

Have you visited Loki at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary? What did you think of him? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

To see more of Loki visit www.eveningstar.co.uk

The Snowy Owl is a large white owl that has a rounded head, yellow eyes, black bill and heavily feathered feet.

Females and juveniles are speckled with thin, black, horizontal bars or spots while adult males are almost pure white.

They have a wingspan of 137cm to 164cm and normally weigh between 1.1kg and 2kg.

They can live for at least nine-and-a-half years in the wild and 35 years in captivity.

They are nomadic and generally live in the Arctic regions of the globe.

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