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Great news ... our Great Grey Owls have become parents!

We have some exciting news here at the butterfly house. Our Great Grey Owls have become parents! They had a rocky relationship at first as Betty travelled from Banham Zoo and was reared by her owl parents. Isaac, on the other hand, was reared by previous keepers at the park and it seemed unlikely the two would breed.

After sharing their aviary for 3 years they laid 3 eggs which were reared successfully. This was amazing for the bird team as they had done training with Isaac, who is often used in our displays, and Betty, to check her health. This meant they had no problem with the keepers checking the nest every morning, candling the eggs and once the three chicks hatched, they even managed to check and weigh them. This is a rarity for many keepers in zoos as often owls become incredibly territorial but with the hard work the keepers had put in to training the owls Isaac and Betty trusted the keeping staff to handle them.

Betty & Isaac Great Grey Owls

Then was the task of naming them, the three main bird team members Kerry, Clara and Arran decided to each name one. Kerry named hers after a young girl called Harriet who had been visiting the park since Isaac was a chick and had purchased many annual memberships to visit him often. Arran and Clara named there’s after the scientific name for Great Grey Owls (Strix Nebulosa) and named them Strix and Nebula.

Clara with Great Grey Owlet

Arran with Great Grey Owlet

Kerry with Great Grey Owlet

Two of the owls, Harriet and Nebula, have now moved onto their new homes at The Wild Zoological Park and a UK Falconry Centre to be used for displays and future breeding. Strix is staying here at the Tropical Butterfly House where when he’s old enough, he will be flown with Jester our African Spotted Eagle Owl. You can meet him now though most days in our displays and watch him grow from an owlet into the tallest species of owl in the world.

 great owl 4

Our visitor Harriet (who our oldest owl was named after) with baby owlet Strix who will be staying with us here at the Tropical Butterfly House. 

Strix Great Grey Owlet

Strix Great Grey Owlet

Thank you to Kerry Ladds of our Bird Team for capturing these lovely images. 

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