|Long-eared owl in the snow|
It has been a busy couple of months at the Centre, so busy in fact that I have rarely picked up my camera! People have often said to me, "It must be lovely working there, being able to take photographs whenever you want"... but that's the thing, I'm working here!.. rarely get the time to photograph, it's just when I do get the time I have a few advantages of course.
So what's been happening? Well, them owls been growing... What's it take to make a long eared owl like Archimedes above? About 8 weeks growth from the chick below...
This is Leo at around 3 weeks old. It always amazes me every time we rear an owl how quickly they change, but they have too grow their adult feathers quick to help survive in the wild. You can see he can't reliably stand on his legs yet, often sitting on his haunches.
Another week or so, and now a confident stander... almost strutting you might say. Head is beginning to take shape, and the feathers beginning to push through on his wings.
A bit older, and a bit more feather showing. More coming through too on the tail and wings, and the face continuing to take shape. Beginning to look like an owl.
Not far off the finished article. Wings and tail are complete, facial disc looking good, just some down to lose on the chest and back. The back of the head is nearly always the last to mature, and then his little ear tufts will begging to emerge.
I have lots of photos of all British owls developing, but won't bore you here and now. But just to finish see these three stages of a barn owl growing and maturing.
Thanks for looking :-)