Did you know that the Library of Birmingham uses birds of prey to help keep pigeons and seagulls away from the library? Kym Martin, a trained bird handler visits every week with one of her birds which include a falcon called JD and a hawk called Buz.
Now there is a new addition to these visitors to the library - a Northern Hawk Owl born in May 2014.
To celebrate the new arrival we are featuring our favourite Owl books.
Three baby owls wake up in the middle of the night and find their mother isn't there anymore. Where has she gone? This beautifully illustrated picture book for younger children is a warm and reassuring story perfect for bed-time reading. Martin Waddell is the much-loved author of many prize-winning books including the perennial favourite Can't You Sleep Little Bear?
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson
Plop is just an ordinary little barn owl apart from one thing - he's scared of the dark. Mommy Barn Owl thinks he should find out more about the dark before he decides he's afraid of it and sends him off on a quest to ask other people what they think. So begins Plop's adventure in which he meets lots of other creatures who love the dark for all sorts of reasons. A great book that lets children know it's ok to be scared of things but that they can find ways of overcoming their fear.
The Owl Service by Alan Garner
Step-siblings Alison and Roger move into an old cottage in the middle of the country, home of local lad Gwyn. A mysterious scratching noise in the attic leads Alison to a dusty set of plates decorated with an elaborate pattern of flowers. Alison becomes obsessed with the plates and finds that when she traces and cuts out the patterns she can create paper owls. But Alison's action triggers something dark and brooding that has lain dormant for centuries. As the unsettling sequence of events unfolds the modern day players appear to be acting out an ancient Welsh legend that they are powerless to stop. Alan Garner's classic tale of myth and mystery won both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal and is a gripping story for teenagers and adults alike.
More About Our Owl
What is a Northern Hawk Owl?
These owls are small to medium sized owls which are diurnal, which means they hunt mainly during the day. This may come as a surprise to many people as owls are considered night time hunters. They hunt mainly by sight and can detect prey visually at up to 800 meters. However using sound detection they can catch their prey even beneath 30 cm of snow.
Northern Hawk Owls can breed the year after being hatched, with the female laying approximately six or seven eggs which hatch after 25-29 days, and the young being brooded for up to 10 days. They can leave the nest after as little as three to five weeks.
Where do Northern Hawk Owls come from?
In the wild, Northern Hawk owls are found in large areas of the world from Alaska, Canada, Northern North America, Scandinavia, Siberia and Northern China down into the Himalayas. They live in boreal woodland and hunt in the open areas from a high perch or post, with a straight rapid flight, hunting mainly voles, lemmings and similar small mammals, though they will take birds and frogs on occasions.