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News from the UK's Longleat Safari & Adventure Park: A pair of tiny hand-reared baby Burrowing Owls have taken to using teacups to roost in during the day. The owlets, nicknamed Linford and Christie (as they were hatched in the year of the London Olympics), are being cared for by keeper Jimmy Robinson. 

They hatched at the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover six weeks ago in February in an incubator and have had to be hand reared now. “Basically I have had to have them with me 24 hours a day every day and that means taking them home with me in the evening and getting up in the middle of the night to feed them,” Jimmy said, adding, “I spend so much time with them they do look at me as their surrogate mom and will follow me around the house or sit on my shoulder. They also enjoy the security of sitting inside their teacups and like to find small spaces on my bookshelf and in between my DVD collection to snuggle up into."

Found throughout the Americas, the burrowing owl is so named because itlives in underground burrows that have been dug out by small mammals such asprairie dogs and ground squirrels. Unlike most owls they are active during the day.



With keeper
Photo Credit: Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

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Linford and Christie will join a variety of birds of prey including vultures, eagles, hawks, kites, owls and falcons in the Hunters of the Sky attraction at Longleat. These two will form part of a major new birds of prey display there.

“Although they are small birds they do grow incredibly quickly. These guys will be fully fledge within the next month, their feathers are coming through nicely and they are already getting used to flapping their wings,” added Jimmy.