Last week Marc rescued an small scops owl and named it Whoo. Whoo has become a very WElcomed new member of our team and WE are happy that Marc is now raising it. Marc is not sure whether it is male or female but he reckons that it is about 2 weeks old based on the appearance of its ‘ears’ which reportedly appear at 12 days. Its ears, as can be seen in the photo have been there for 2 days or so. Marc expects that it will be fully fledged at 3 and a 1/2 to 4 weeks. With the help of Jess and Lara, he is collecting any arthropods that he can find; beetles, winged termites, moths and crickets. The last few days have been cold and wet and there has been a dearth of insects, so he has been giving it some beef mince or beef pieces depending on what is being cooked. He needs to feed it some vertebrates like lizards or geckos but he says that that is very hard for him to do. Marc does know what age he will keep it until, it may fly when it is fledged and disappear or it may stick around if it has imprinted on Marc. This is a very unpredictable part of the equation. He keeps it in a small box which is about 20 x 25 x 20cm and lined with some kapok like nesting material. It doesn’t resemble a nest of the species but resembles the dark hole of a natural nest in a hole in a tree. As Marc is not an adult owl with the ability to teach it of the dangers, it is going to be vulnerable to other predators, both avian ( raptors) mammal ( genets, wildcat, monkeys, baboons ) and reptiles (snakes and maybe white throated monitors).
It poses no danger to Marc or anyone when it gets older. It is almost full size already and its small size means that Marc does not even have to wear a glove when handling it as the talons are not that strong.
Ultimately Marc would like it to function like a wild Scops Owl and still be able to come to him but that is pure fantasy at this stage. At best he hopes that it returns to the wild and forgets about humans and finds a mate and goes on as a wild owl. They are a monogamous species and although quite numerous, they are very special little birds and Marc has certainly lost his heart to this one.