As the heat of the summer chills into autumn the two oldest owls of the pack are coming out of their drowsy siestas and taking a bit more interest in their surroundings.
Actually what is the collective known for a group of owls? A hoot of owls maybe?? Or a hush…or a swoop or a flutter? It is a cast of hawks….a funeral of crows, and my all time favorite collective noun is a kaleidoscope of butterflies!
Victor as I named him, is a wonderful 5 year old African Spotted Owl.
Previously he lived very happily at the North Somerset Bird of Prey Center with his lovely mate of several years. Each year they would carefully build a nest and lay their clutch of eggs – however they never managed to hatch a single one, and earlier this year the female quietly passed away while sitting on their latest brood. It was decided that Victor would benefit from a change of scene and I was very happy to give him a new home here in Cornwall.
Victor has not yet flown to me, but he is very happy to sit and watch the world go by as I sketch him. He makes a great still life model!
My other ‘semi- retired gentleman’ is BB King, a stunning Eurasian Eagle Owl – the largest of all owl species in fact.
He needed a new home as his owner wanted to retire himself and, like Victor, had also never been flown to the glove or actually stood on a glove at all. He came to me in May this year, the month the singer BB King died. As his Latin name is Bubo Bubo and he is the largest of all species the name just had to be BB King!
BB has settled in well, is about 4 years old, very chilled and also a great model for sketching. The top photo was taken just this weekend and was the first time he had sat on that post – he totally loved it and sulked when I had to put him back in his aviary!