Having a hoot with our feathered visitor

My name is Logan Bott. I am working towards my Gold Award at Brocks Hill Green Wedge Wildlife Watch group. This article is for the Newshound challenge. For more information on Watch Award please click see http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/Watch-awards

Bubbles, the barn owl, visited the Brocks Hill Green Wedge Wildlife Watch group’s February meeting. She came with her owner Julie Copson and her daughter Jo, who live in Cosby, where Bubbles lives in her own aviary at the lower part of a mature tree. It was a special weekend at Brocks Hill Country Park all about poetry and storytelling called 'Singing Birds and Talking Beasts'.

The guest poet was Richard Bonfield, poet for the Born Free Foundation; he was a very comical man with lots of enthusiasm. Whilst sitting with Richard we learnt how to write a poem and he read some poetry to us. Also members of Poetry Stanza Leicester Society, Debs Puppets and Poetry and the Guild of Storytellers were there.

Lots of people joined us to see Bubbles, due to it being a special event. Her favourite food is mice although she has been known to eat frogs and squirrel before! Usually she is fed on day old dead chicks. Her wings are not waterproof so she cannot hunt in the rain; an owl has two enemies long lasting rain spells and cars. Julie told us there are more Barn owls in captivity than in the wild.

After Julie Copson had told us lots of interesting facts about owls we got to write our own poems, made finger puppets from owl feathers and dissected Bubbles’ pellets and some from wild owls too. The bones from Bubbles pellets were chick bones but we found tiny shrew and vole skulls in the wild ones. Richard Bonfield wrote a poem about owl pellets in it he talked about coffins having bones in them the same as pellets and ‘the owls did cough them up’.

On the Sunday, a few of our Watch group returned to Brocks Hill Environment Centre to read their poetry to members of the public.

Quotes from children who came to the event:

It was a great meeting!

The bit I liked the most was the pellets, colouring and making the puppets.

I found seeing the owl close up the most interesting.

If you are 5-14 years old and would like to come to a Wildlife Watch group - click here to find your closest group.

Logan Bott

Related categories: Wildlife Watch Event

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