Short Stay for a Long Eared Owl!

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary Raptor Hospital is always busy in the Spring - casualty numbers being augmented by foundling babies which have fallen from nests or been separated from parent birds. These are generally Barn Owls, Tawny Owls and, less frequently, Little Owls.

Recently, however, a Long Eared Owl made a rare appearance in the hospital treatment room, having been brought in from Felixstowe by a member of the public. The incidence of Long Eared Owl patients in the hospital is probably less than one each year, so it was highly unusual ( but interesting) for the falconry team to be assessing such a patient.

The owl had been found caught in netting within a warehouse at Felixstowe docks. Luckily, it was within the reach of some of the dockyard workers, who were able to collect it up into a box and transport it to the owl sanctuary’s hospital.

On arrival the mature adult owl was assessed and found to have no injuries, although it was, understandably, suffering from shock due to its ordeal. The remedy for the stressful rescue and journey to S.O.S. was merely a few days' peace and quiet in a secluded rehabilitation aviary with regular food and protection from predators.

After a week in accommodation akin to a luxury hotel (!) the owl was back in condition and ready to return from whence it came, in the protective custody of its kindhearted rescuer.

Long Eared Owls are strictly nocturnal and very well camouflaged within their favoured wooded habitat, so are rarely seen within daylight hours. They also compete for hunting grounds with Tawny Owls, so are rarely seen in areas in which Tawnies are plentiful and this could explain why coastal areas such as Felixstowe may offer favourable habitat. 

 

  The Long Eared Owl is assessed on arrival and appears alert and active!

The Long Eared Owl is assessed on arrival and appears alert and active!

  Crop tubing introduces essential nutrition quickly and effectively.

Crop tubing introduces essential nutrition quickly and effectively.

  I’ll have a luxury aviary for one, please!

I’ll have a luxury aviary for one, please!