Advice on helping young owls

BIRD lovers have been urged not to be a “twit-twoo” and move young owls away from their nests.

The advice comes after the RSPCA was called in to help a tawny owl who had been taken away from the vicinity of his nest — apparently by children.

Now recovering at the RSPCA welfare centre, the distinctive young tawny was handed over to a bird of prey keeper by a concerned member of the public who found him grounded in a wood near Rotherham.

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RSPCA animal rescue officers Liz Braidley and Leanne Honess-Heather worked together to transport the owl from Wath to Ryedale Rehabilitation in Malton, North Yorkshire.

He was said to have been thin, but otherwise bright and alert, and is now enjoying some TLC under the watchful eye of wildlife rehabilitator Jean Thorpe.

Liz said: “The owl had been taken to the keeper after someone found kids playing with him.

“Tawny owls do come out of their nests and climb up bushes and trees, but we would urge people to leave them where they are.

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“We have seen people picking them up thinking they are helping as they are on the ground without realising their parents or offspring may be nearby.

“If people do find an owl outside the nest, then our advice is they should monitor the situation first.

“They should go back to the location the next day to see if the owl is still there before contacting a wildlife rehabilitator or the RSPCA.”

The owl has been in the care of rehabilitator Jean for nearly two weeks and she said: “I have just been feeding him up and getting him going again and this week we will see how he is flying.

“But it will be a while before he is ready to be released.”

If you find an injured wild animal, watch it first to see how badly hurt it is before taking it to a local vet or contacting the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.