Tawny owls released into Shropshire woodland after being hand reared at Cuan Wildlife Centre

Six tawny owls have been given a second chance thanks to the efforts of a wildlife centre.

Baby owlets at Cuan Wildlife Centre
Baby owlets at Cuan Wildlife Centre

The baby owls, known as owlets, were released back into woodland on the Bradford Estates site near Shifnal after being rescued by members of the public when they had fallen from trees and nests.

Fran Hill, manager of Cuan Wildlife Rescue, said they regularly get owlets brought in by members of the public after finding them on the ground when the animals have taken a misstep and fallen out of their nests.

Baby owlets at Cuan Wildlife Centre

This is called branching – when the owlets are getting stronger and start walking outside the nest and jumping on branches, but they can't yet fly.

Fran said the animals have now been released back into the wild after being hand reared at the centre.

"Generally speaking we get one owlet at a time because they do this thing called branching," she explained. "The lucky ones are found by the members of the public and we will do our best if the member of the public can remember which tree they fell out of, to put them back in the nest.

Baby owlets at Cuan Wildlife Centre

"We work with tree surgeons who put them back in the trees. But it is not always able to be done like that.

"This was a group of six who all came from different places but for the same reasons they were found on the ground. We continued to hand rear them and they are very adaptable. They adapt well to being fed by hand very quickly.

"They go on to eating their own food after that which is when they are strong enough to move to an outdoor aviary where their flight feathers start to grow. Then we look to release them."

Baby owlets at Cuan Wildlife Centre

Bradford Estates got in touch with the centre a couple of months prior to offer help and Lord Newport had driven Fran around the whole estate, and had a land survey done so they knew exactly what species were where.

Fran said the dense woodlands on the estate would make great release sites for owlets.

"They kindly agreed to have our mobile Avery there and we were able to release them," she said. "They have been spotted on the night cameras so they are still coming in and being seen which is good.

"They are back in the wild which is the most important thing."

To donate or help Cuan Wildlife Centre visit cuanwildliferescue.org.uk/.

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