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Owls draw the crowds at Idle

Handler Peter Jessop with European Eagle Owl

Handler Peter Jessop with European Eagle Owl

LIFE’S a hoot at Idle Valley Nature Reserve.

Visitors to the Retford reserve were able to grab a glimpse of four stunning owls, presented by Peter and Jenny Jessop last Sunday.

The monthly ‘wildlife watch’ session designed for eight to 13 year-olds drew the crowds as each of the owls were individually presented to fascinated onlookers. Three of the five native owls to the UK were on display, the barn owl, tawny owl and little owl.

The fourth was a European eagle owl, who is nearly half a stone of a beautiful, flying hunting machine, with the most vivid orange eyes.

“Birds of prey are actually quite lazy animals – they have to burn fuel in order to fly, and to have enough fuel they have to hunt,” said Jenny.

“So they keep their activities to a minimum, resting for most of their lives storing all their energy for hunting.”

“When you see owls flying, they are looking for prey, not admiring the view.”

Jenny and Peter told tales of how fearless the little owls are in this country – they will not think twice about tackling much larger birds of prey like hawks and falcons if they think their young might be in danger.

They also explained why their eyes are so large and that they catch their prey with the talons on their incredibly strong clawed feet.

Education Officer for Notts Wildlife Trust Rick Berry said: “It’s been a brilliant activity which has completely engaged the children and visitors who were lucky enough to be here at the right time.”

“We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of Jenny and Peter who often give demonstrations like this to raise money and awareness for owl rescue organisations so we’re very grateful to them.”

 
 
 

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