Wildlife experts in a flap over baby Barn owl that should have been born in April


On a wing and a prayer: Staff at Secret World Animal Rescue Centre can't decide if this baby Barn owl has hatched early or late - either way, he's expected to survive

A new arrival at a Somerset wildlife centre has left staff baffled whether he has arrived six months late from the current years breeding cycle or six months too early from next year.
Either way the owl has been hatched way out of the norm for his species, but now has every chance of being successfully hand reared and released back into the wild in the New Year.
Barn owls normally produce chicks in April coinciding with an abundance of prey, which includes mice, voles and rats.

Mystery: Staff at Secret World have no idea where the unnamed Barn owl came from

This chick will grow up surrounded with autumn colours rather than the more normal spring shoots.

The ball of white fluff was handed in to a vet's practice in Langport, Somerset, without any information as to the exact place it was found.
Staff at Secret World Animal Rescue Centre are appealing for more information on how and where the owlet was found to allay fears of any sibling chicks in need of rescue from the same nesting site.

Pauline Kidner from the Rescue Centre said: ‘Owl chicks born as late as October are very rare.’
The young chick is yet to be named.
Barn owls are the most common variety of owl and can be found world-wide.
But, unlike a lot of other owls, they don’t emit a ‘hoot’, instead they screech – and hiss, to warn off predators.
Fully grown they stand 75cm tall and have a wingspan of around 110cm.
There are thought to be around 10,000 of the birds living in Britain.

source: dailymail