‘Owling with delight

2711040 SSFF elite owl 'Roxanne Peggie & Barry Blyther (Elite Falconers) with mother and baby Great Grey Owls at Elite Falconry, Cluny

2711040 SSFF elite owl 'Roxanne Peggie & Barry Blyther (Elite Falconers) with mother and baby Great Grey Owls at Elite Falconry, Cluny

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meet the newest arrival at a popular bird of prey centre outside Kirkcaldy.

The fluffy Great Grey owlet, who has yet to be named, is the only chick to survive from a batch of nine eggs which were laid by Grace and her partner Mr Jones, both residents at Elite Falconry at Cluny.

Great Grey chicks are notoriously difficult to rear in captivity, so staff at the centre are delighted that their new arrival is thriving.

And they are asking members of the public to suggest names for the chick, which they are almost certain is male.

“We are hoping that when he is mature enough he will mate with Coco, another of our owls, so we are looking for names that will go with Coco,” explained falconer Robin Manson.

Anxious wait

And he explained that after the owlet hatched in owner Roxanne Peggie’s hands six weeks ago, they had an anxious wait to see if he would survive.

“The first few days were crucial and the chick was hatched in an incubator and then moved into a brooder which keeps a constant temperature. He was fed every two to three hours on mouse meat and kept clean to prevent him from picking up any infections,” explained Robin.

“He was taken backwards and forwards between the owners’ home in Cardenden and the centre, and thankfully he has continued to thrive.

‘‘He now weighs 1lb 5 ozs and fully grown will weigh almost double that.”

The owlet will be moved into an aviary in another three to four weeks and is already an established part of the birds of prey team.

Big attraction

“We took him to the Royal Highland Show when we were there two weeks ago and he proved a really big attraction with the crowds,” said Robin.

“He is currently eating around five or six mice a day and is settling in really well.”

And the Great Grey owlet is not the only new arrival at Elite Falconry which has just taken delivery of Taru, a seven-week old brown Asian wood owl which was born in Gloucester.

Taru arrived at the centre just two weeks ago and staff hope she will mate with Jordan, another Elite resident in a few years time.