Our Tawny Owl

The following is a diary entry from  my diary in 2007.  It traces what happened to one Tawny Owl that visited our garden


A Tawny Owl

 19th May 2007

At 6am this morning there was an owl sitting on a plastic duck near our garden pond. I didn’t see it at first .

It was a tawny owl. The other birds were going mad because there was a bird of prey amongst them. Tawny owls usually only eat small mammals, but the other birds don’t know this.
Then the owl roused itself and flew into the trees and onto a branch. The other birds were still going mad. Our garden pond is full of fish so maybe it is getting an easy meal.
Tawny owls live in holes in trees but there isn’t a tree big enough to house an owl here. Maybe we should put some Tawny owl boxes up. The tawny owl would have somewhere to live and not frighten the smaller birds by having to perch in a tree all the time. More expense.

20 May 2007 . Sunday

Tawny owl still visiting us. It sits so still on the ground in a corner of the garden that is sheltered and near a garden pond. It has it’s eyes closed. It is so wonderful to be near such a wild bird. It sits there for ages before it flies away. But we have a feeling this can’t be right.

21nd May. Monday.

Owl still here at times. We have been able to get really close to it today. We think it only has one eye. How sad is that. The owl is ill. We think there are flies on the eye What has happened to this creature?

We have rung the RSPCA and have had a word with someone local who has an owl sanctuary. We now think the owl is not eating or drinking at all. We put some cooked chicken out for it but the other birds grabbed it and the owl stumbled under a hedge. We realise something must be done. We have contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

It is early evening and we are waiting to hear from the RSPCA.

What brought this owl to our garden. I like to think it found peace and sanctuary here. There must be a reason it chose to sit on the grass in a corner of our garden, in the shade, near water rather than out in the fields around here. I hope it found peace here.

The RSPCA are treating it as an emergency and are coming out tonight (8 pm) Thank goodness for the RSPCA.

There is a feeling of sadness in the air. It is affecting us all. We’ve been drawn into the world of nature.

Tawny owl has gone. (I have started to call it Tawny). Taken into care by the RSPCA.

The RSPCA Inspector was very professional. He crawled into the hedge, followed Tawny along the hedge and brought it safely out. He held it gently.

The good news is that we were wrong about its eye. Tawny has not lost an eye and there are not any flies in Tawny’s eyes either. Both eyes are healthy. It seems if we had left it in the garden it would have starved to death. Tawny Owl had been flying about but did not have strength to catch anything to eat, so was getting progressively weaker.

6am 22 May.

It seems so strange not to be looking out for the owl. It is only Saturday when we first saw it flying about in it’s own domain and sitting at our pond. Over the last few days we had seen it more.

I must admit at one point we thought it was getting an easy meal of fish from our garden pond. Tawny has been using our garden as a sanctuary. The strange thing is that the small birds were flitting about frightened of the owl, but it was the owl that needed help. The small birds were healthier than Tawny. Nature, birds and animals affect us, I have become concerned about this tawny owl.
The RSPCA are going to ring us in a day or two to let us know how Tawny has come on. If he gets better we have asked if they will bring him back here and we will put up an owl box. Tawny has been taken to an owl sanctuary and they will give him food and, if needed, antibiotics. We may never know what made him ill.

We see birds flit about all day and don’t know the trials and tribulations they face in the wild. That is why I can’t understand people who let their cats out on a night in the knowledge that the cat is actually killing birds all night long.


19 May 2009

We found out afterwards that Tawny Owl had come to our garden for sanctuary.  The RSPCA said if it had sheltered in the nearby trees then crows and rooks would have sensed he was weak and would have attacked him.  The same goes if he had been in the open fields.  He would have been spotted as being weak and helpless

My only guilt is that we did not ring the RSPCA as soon as we spotted him., but the first time we saw him we did not know he would return.  We did not believe he would return.



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