28 February 2010

Fair Isle Long-eared Owl returns

This Long-eared Owl was found in a poor state on a roadside on 12 February at Gillock, Caithness. With a bit of TLC, and a lot of food, it finally recovered and was released on 23 February.

Interestingly, GA22350 was originally ringed on Fair Isle in autumn 2005 and is presumably a Scandinavian bird regularly wintering in Scotland. It will have been ringed at the Bird Observatory on migration, and probably returned to Scandinavia every summer between then and now. It was ringed as a female, which makes sense, as male Long-eared Owls spend their winters 'closer to home' so often don't make it as far as Britain in the winter.

We don't get many recoveries of Long-eared Owl, and most foreign movements involve Germany (20), Sweden (17) and Norway (12).

Congratulations to Peter Davies for successfully rehabilitating this bird (and the proof is shown left, as it flies off to local woods) and thanks for letting us use his photos.

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