Two juvenile spotted eagle owls from an SPCA in Johannesburg have found a new home at St Andrew’s School for Girls.
Initiated by Eco Solutions with the NPO Owlproject.org, the owls were brought to the school on October 25 and will stay in a pen for 21 days before being released into nature.
The NPO provides educational programmes for learners at schools and eco clubs.
Owlproject.org’s Sara Orchardson said schools are great for releases because they can tie in educational talks.
“We want the owls to get used to the environment. The learners will feed them daily before we put them back where they came from,” she explained.
The school has been part of the programme for more than eight years.
St Andrew’s has five owl boxes that get serviced yearly.
After 21 days, and before sunrise, they will release the owls.
Orchardson emphasized that juvenile owls require extreme care and that the learners would serve as a surrogate mother.“Schools have open fields, so a school ground is like a nursery for them.
“They will get to practice and hone their hunting skills,” said Orchardson.Michelle Blewitt, the school’s eco rep, explained that the initiative allows the learners to learn more about owls.
“The learners get to see how they behave, which, I believe, will reduce their possible fear of owls.
“They will see them up close and learn how they behave.
“In the past, we have had learners bring their parents to feed them,” said Blewitt.