The owls and other birds of prey at the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary are visited daily by a huge variety of individuals. Mums, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, boys and girls in particular enjoy the spectacular flying displays which offer an unforgettable experience for the whole spectrum of age groups, from a few months old to Grans and Grandads!
Through this close interaction with the birds, a wide range of people become interested in the conservation message that forms the central premise of our work and come to realise the ecological importance of owls and other birds of prey.
A visit to the sanctuary by a 90 year old supporter brought this breadth of appeal of the sanctuary’s attractions into sharp focus recently. A lifelong interest in owls brought our aged visitor to the centre with her family for a birthday treat and to mark the occasion, staff decided that an intimate meeting with one the centre’s youngest owls would be fitting!
Taino the Ashy Faced Owl is only 10 weeks old, but already confident enough to sit quietly on the gloved hand of a nonagenarian! Maz, our new General Manager, was happy to chat about this unusual owl, about its place in the eco system, the reasons for its relative rarity and the wider conservation issues concerning owls and other raptors. Weeks of patient training had enabled this young bird to remain calm and unstressed throughout a close encounter of this kind and to build some thrilling memories for one of the sanctuary’s less able supporters.
The welfare of the owls and other birds of prey is always the priority for staff at the centre and our guidelines prescribe that birds are generally not held by members of the public. However, in special circumstances, an occasional exception can be made to this rule for the benefit of a more compromised visitor, with a bird of the appropriate temperament - proof indeed of the old adage that you are never too old to enjoy a new experience!