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Leeds Castle News21 May 2020

Introducing Groot, our first bird of prey bred at Leeds Castle

We are proud to announce the arrival of ‘Groot’, a baby Burrowing Owl who hatched at 9.08am on 11th May 2020 and is the first bird of prey to be bred at Leeds Castle!

His parents, Jack and Jill, who have only been together for 8 months bred for the first time at Leeds Castle’s Bird of Prey Centre. As they are first-time parents it become apparent fairly early on that they were not able to sufficiently care for all of Groot’s needs. Therefore for his safety the Falconry & Wildlife team will hand-rear him and eventually begin to train him to fly in the Leeds Castle falconry shows and on experience days.

In the wild Burrowing Owls are found throughout North and South America. These Owls nest and roost in burrows, hence the name! They will typically use burrows that have been made by other animals such as Rabbits or Prairie Dogs. If burrows are unobtainable and the soil is not hard, the Owls may excavate their own. Burrowing Owls have also been known to nest in shallow, underground, man-made structures that have easy access to the surface.

Unlike most Owls, Burrowing Owls are diurnal, meaning they do most of their hunting during the day but will hunt at dusk and dawn using their incredible hearing. They have also developed longer legs that enable them to sprint, as well as fly, when hunting small insects.

Leeds Castle’s Bird of Prey Centre is home to over 30 birds from different countries around the world ranging from the European Eagle Owl to the Russian Steppe Eagle and the Laughing Kookaburra from Australia.

You can now adopt one of our beautiful birds for a whole year. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift, attended one of our experiences previously or you just love birds in general then this is just for you!

By choosing to adopt a bird you will be contributing towards their life with us. Your donation will help us to continue the high standards of welfare, cover the costs of feeding the birds with good quality food, help towards any medical bills and also maintain the aviaries they live in. For further information please visit: