First things first, Herriot the Steppe Eagle is back on fine form again and doing exactly what he should be doing. He’s also sticking to the 7-8 minute flying per bird rule, yaaaay.
We’re half way through the year already and it’s still flying by! Much like our new additions to the team.
Phoenix is now flying everyday in the meadow at 2pm. He now has all his feathers and doesn’t look so young anymore; visitors are amazed to find out that he’s only 4 months old as he flies around like he’s been flying for years in displays!
The same applies for Pixie who flies every day in ‘The World of Owls’ display. Visitors hear him coming before he even enters the arena. He’s so loud in fact we’ve had guests staying in the Coachman’s Quarters and said that Pixie had been shouting his head off at 2:30am!! He’s starting to look more and more like a Long eared owl, although he’s only just started growing his ear tufts.
We have a couple more new additions this month as well.
Griffin a young Tawny owl joined us at the start of the month. He has been one of the easiest but also the cheekiest owl so far this year. He is so laid back and relaxed with any situation, happily sits still and content when with staff. However, when left alone he climbed the curtains all the way to the top, pooped on the TV (favourite place for owls) and knocked books and ornaments off the shelves. You can really see in Griffin just how well Tawny owl chicks cope in the wild when they leave their nest too early; how easily they can climb back up and move around. Griffin has really found his wings now and is staying and living in his aviary, much to the relief of my TV. He is also flying and training every day at 11:30am.
Yesterday I drove for 12 hours to collect our newest member of the team, so feeling a little sleepy right now, but tiredness doesn’t matter as I have to say I’ve been excited about this bird for quite a while now. He has no name yet but he is an absolutely stunning Saker falcon. Currently he is in the very early stages of training but will be trained to fly in displays. I am a very big fan of large falcons so have ‘shotgunned’ training him (cheeky I know). Training falcons is very different from training owls but with a lot of patience and time this falcon will make an incredible display bird.
Chip our beautiful Jack Merlin is also growing up. He is over a year old now and has started to moult his first set of feathers. Moulting is a process where a bird drops its old feathers and grows new ones. Over time Chip will lose his brown plumage and be a lovely greyish blue colour. Which means the boy is becoming a man!
So we’ve been busy with new birds but Nature here at Muncaster has also been very busy. Our resident Mallard duck that visits the centre’s wildlife pond hatched some ducklings two weeks ago. She then decided to walk them past all the owl aviaries to take them down to bigger wildlife pond, much to Whippet the Boobook owl’s surprise.
As we are also now officially in summer, we’ve actually had some really hot days here and as I was walking Chip over to his aviary I spotted a beautiful Slow worm warming itself up in the sun. Slow worms look like small snakes; however they are actually a legless lizard. Muncaster has the perfect habitat for these reptiles to survive and thrive.