1. ITV Report

Baby Owls a hoot at Muncaster Castle

The World Owl Trust at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria is celebrating another successful breeding season, with nearly fifty owlets raised from 16 different species.

They say the highlights are two young South American Mottled Owls, which the Trust has bred for the first time. The Mottled Owls, which are native to forests and jungles in Central and South America, have been with the Trust for three years, and have bred on their first attempt after reaching maturity.

Western Screech Owls, which have rarely bred at the Centre, managed six owlets; and there were also young for Spectacled Owls, Burrowing Owls, Southern White-faced Owls and Dark Breasted Barn Owls amongst others.

The success comes despite the largely cold and wet weather of spring and summer which raises the chances of infertile eggs and reduced clutch sizes.

Most of the owls only breed once a year but if they lay their first eggs early, some will raise owlets in the spring and then again in the summer.

David Armitage, Collection Manager at the World Owl Trust says:

"It's been a great season again for us here despite the unhelpful climate, and we're particularly excited about the Mottled Owls breeding for the first time.

"Most of our long term regular breeders have also produced young, and it's great that we can play our part in the conservation of these beautiful birds."

– David Armitage

This is ITV Border's full report, with Samantha Parker: