Submitted by Steve on 23:46, 8th Jun, 2016 | 0

Last week one of the GSPCA Volunteer Night Wardens were called out to rescue a very sick, weak and starving baby barn owl in St Peter Port.

The young bird was severely thin and very close to loosing his life and was found near to Candie Gardens very early on Thursday morning.

Thankfully with the skills of the team at the GSPCA and an intensive care unit the young bird has survived his first week and today started to eat on his own.

After a period inside we plan to transfer him to an outside aviary where he will learn to fly and forage for food.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “When the GSPCA Night Warden arrived with Archimedes it was 6.30am in the morning last Thursday after a very early rescue we really weren't sure he would survive.”

"We had to hand feed him to start but today we are so pleased that he has started to eat on his own and we are hopeful that as he grows stronger we can move him into an outside aviary to prepare him for his release all being well as it is still early days."

“Barn Owls are one of the most stunning of all species of birds in Guernsey and last year we were lucky enough to hand rear and release a baby barn owl back to the wild.”

Yvonne Chauvel Senior Animal Care Assistant said “It is wonderful when we are able to help rescue, care for and release such wonderful animals and birds.”

“It’s not easy caring for and hand rearing wild animals but we are blessed with a great team and we all work so hard to help each and everyone that comes into our care.”

“Last year we rescued, hand reared a barn owl we called 'Mervyn' and hopefully we will be able to help Archimedes back to the wild when he is strong enough.”

Sarah Ozanne GSPCA Animal Care Assistant said "It was amazing to see Archimedes eat on his own for the very first time today."

"It is never easy hand rearing young wild birds and we all have our fingers crossed for Archimedes the barn owl and hope he continues to improve and grow stronger."

For advice on what to do if you find injured wildlife please call 01481 257261 or please click here.

Some Barn Owl facts -


  • Historically, the Barn Owl was Britain’s most common owl species, but today only one farm in about 75 in the UK can boast a barn owl nest. 
  • Barn owls screech, not hoot (that’s tawny owls). 
  • The barn owl can fly almost silently. This enables it to hear the slightest sounds made by its rodent prey hidden in deep vegetation while it’s flying up to three metres overhead. 
  • The barn owl’s heart-shaped face collects sound in the same way as human ears. Its hearing is the most sensitive of any creature tested. 
  • Barn owls are non-territorial. Adults live in overlapping home ranges, each one covering approximately 5,000 hectares. That’s a staggering 12,500 acres or 7,100 football pitches!
  • It’s not uncommon for Barn Owl chicks in the nest to feed each other. This behaviour is incredibly rare in birds. 
  • In order to live and breed, a pair of barn owls needs to eat around 5,000 prey items a year. These are mainly field voles, wood mice, and common shrews. 
  • Though Barn Owls are capable of producing three broods of five to seven young each year, most breed only once and produce, on average, only two and a half young. 29 per cent of nests produce no young at all. 
  • 91 per cent of Barn Owls post-mortemed were found to contain rat poison. Some owls die as a direct result of consuming rodenticides, but most contain sub-lethal doses. The effects of this remain unknown. 
  • In a typical year, around 3,000 juvenile Barn Owls are killed on Britain’s motorways, dual carriageways and other trunk roads. That’s about a third of all the young that fledge. 
  • Everyone can help Barn Owls. Leave a patch of rough grassland to grow wild thus creating habitat for voles, erect a super-safe deep nest box, volunteer and find out more with the local RSPB group, switch to non-toxic rodent control and support charities working to conserve the Barn Owl.
To donate to Archimedes care please check out the links and details below.


To donate to the turtle or Bonnie the grey seal pup please call 01481 257261, pop along to the Animal Shelter in St Andrews, by post or by clicking the link below.

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If you find a sick our injured wild animal please call 257261 or click here for advice.

Bonnie The Seal from karldorfner on Vimeo.

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Posted by GSPCA on Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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