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WALES: Owl's well that ends well for old roost; New home because NT gives a hoot.


OWLS facing the boot from their North Wales roost were given a reprieve - and their own spanking newdes-res.

National Trust wardens looking for a base onLlynhit a snagwhen they decided to renovate 200-year-old farm buildings in Aberdaron.

Because the building was a handy squat for a parliament of little owls.

So trust bosses came up with a simple solution by providing a purpose-built home for their feathered friends.

As part of the renovation programme atCwrt, theyhaveprovided anideal home for the owls in a roof space, complete with its own entrance.

It means man and bird can work and live together.

"It's going to be a hoot," said the trust's countryside manager for Llyn and west Snowdonia Keith Jones.

He added: "The little owls are part of the make-up of the buildings. I just thought of them as another user and therefore how could we work around them. It has been very easy. Atmost times of the day you can see them peering at you. They are quite nosey birds but very tolerant of us."

Cwrt, no longer used for agriculture, includes a two-arched cart shed, barn, cowhouses and stables.

A trust spokeswoman said: "We are investing in the future of the Llyn by building amulti-use base for the care and management of what is an internationally important area.

"Thanks to funding from the National Assembly throughObjective 1 someof the buildings will also be adapted to provide amenities for local fishermen - including a cold store, ice-making machine, crab and fish processing unit, a cold storage space for bait and a net repair room."

Welcome introduction

The little owl, or Athene noctua, is not much larger than a blackbird and was introduced to Britain from Holland in 1889. It was then known as the "fierce little foreigner".

As its Latin name implies, the owl was associated with the Greek goddess of war Athene. She was also worshipped as the goddess of the arts, peace and intelligence.

Although the Greeks had a great respect for the little owl the Romans later regarded it as a bird of ill-omen.

It can be found throughout central and southern Europe, including England and Wales.

The little owl has a short flat head. Its upper parts are a greyish brown, mottled and barred with white. Its underparts are paler with broad brown streaks. It has large yellow eyes and a greenish bill. Its legs and feet are covered with pale, buff feathers.


Little owls in a National Trust-owned farm complex at Aberdaron have been given their own special entrance rather than be evicted during renovation work
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2007
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