A little encouragement!

Bird keepers are hoping to play cupid for our great grey owls by encouraging breeding behaviour with some enclosure maintenance.

Twelve year-old Granville and 11 year-old Ursula have been temporarily taken off-show while the zoo’s maintenance and keeper teams completely refurbish their enclosure, located opposite the bachelor gelada troop.

Birds Section Leader, Nicola Wright, said: “We’ve had little breeding success with Granville and Ursula in the past and have tried various techniques to try and encourage them, such as changing nesting materials and boxes.

“We were keen to cut the foliage back and let in as much light as possible into the enclosure as birds need lots of bright light during the breeding season, but while they were off-show we decided to carry out extra work, including changing the roof and adding new ledges and perches, which we hope will do the trick when the owls return in the next few weeks.”

Great grey owl nesting occurs from March to May when females will usually lay four eggs per clutch with an incubation period of 28 – 36 days.