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Monday, March 12, 2012

Owl'd he get in there? Eggnog the owl takes up residence... in a drainpipe

By Amy Oliver

As the old saying goes, it's usually rats that skulk around drain pipes.

But any rodents hoping to muscle in on Eggnog the owl's residence may get a nasty peck on the nose.

The breed of Little Owl has commandeered the pipe as his day perch after staff at the Silverband Falconry in the Lake District placed him inside.

'He happily sits there for large parts of the day and would probably sleep there as well,' said Ann Toon, the wildlife photographer who captured the image.

Snug fit: Eggnog the owl would gladly 'sit all day' in his cosy drainpipe, according to staff at Silverband Falconry in the Lake District

'He is happy in the drainpipe as he feels safe and secure from any prying predators looking for a nice snack,' she added.

Named after the alcoholic drink loved by some at Christmas, little Eggnog may look cute but has a fiery personality, staff say.

'Eggnog is probably the grumpiest Little Owl we have,' Richard Cooper, director at the falconry, said adding: 'though he is very lively and he is always watching what you do.

'He particularly likes to show off how flexible his neck is at shows and demonstration we do.'

What a hoot: Little Eggnog is said to be happy in his drainpipe as he feels safe and secure from any prying predators looking for a tasty snack

The owl is native to the UK and can grow to a height of 21cm, making a drainpipe the perfect refuge. Little Owls are known to prefer snug hiding places, according to the falconry.

They also make good pets. Florence Nightingale was the proud owner of one called Athena, after it’s Latin name Athene noctua.

He fast became her companion travelling everywhere in her pocket.

Pet owls are also popular in India thanks in part to the Harry Potter franchise. The demand, often on the black market, has resulted in an endangered owl crisis.



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