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Timelapse video: Owl chick hatches at Ringwood wildlife centre

A TINY tawny owl chick helped a Ringwood wildlife centre mark the 21st anniversary of its bald eagle namesake, hatching on the eve of the celebrations.

Having taken 36 hours to crack out of its shell at Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre, the owlet (pictured) is now receiving round-the-clock care from the facility’s team of falconers.

It arrived the day before the facility celebrated the 21st birthday of Liberty, the Alaskan bald eagle from which the centre takes its name.

Jayson Bridges, co-founder of Liberty’s, watched the chick make its first wobbly movements from its eggshell. “Seeing a chick break its way out of its egg really is a very special experience. I do now have my hands full ensuring it is fed four times in a 17-hour period!” he said.

“This is one of our favourite times of the year at the centre, and we know from our visitors that they love coming in to see our baby owls, too. Sadly, due to the current social distancing guidelines in place, we are not able to welcome any visitors to the centre.

“But we have been uploading lots of videos to our social media channels of these beautiful young birds as they discover their surroundings so that people don’t miss out,” he continued.

The tawny owl chick born at Liberty’s Owl, Raptor And Reptile Centre
The tawny owl chick born at Liberty’s Owl, Raptor And Reptile Centre

One of five breeds of owl native to the British Isles, tawny owls are commonly found in woodland as well as more urban environments. Nocturnal hunters, they are easily identified by their characteristic hoot often heard after nightfall.

To mark the occasion, the centre uploaded a birthday card template to its Facebook page children can download, print out and colour in,among other homeschooling materials – and it will also continue to provide updates as the owl chick grows and on its other animals.

A not-for-profit conservation organisation, Liberty’s is dedicated to the preservation of native and international species of birds of prey and relies on public donations to keep its work going.

Supporter and volunteer at the centre, Lisa Taylor, has started a fundraising effort for Liberty’s. It can be accessed via www.gofundme.com/f/jdxqk-a-cause-i-care-about-needs-help

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