Three Ryukyu brown hawk owl babies found in Nago castle

Three Ryukyu brown hawk owl babies found in Nago castle

Ryukyu Brown hawk owl parents watching their three baby owls fledging in the forest of Nago Castle.

August 5, 2015 Mitsuo Kochi Correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

Three Ryukyu brown hawk owls born in a Nago Castle forest have taken off from their nest. The nest was submerged in the quiet and dark forest. People started to see baby owls from the beginning of July and heard them sing “chi-li-li-li”, like insects. The three baby owls stood side-by-side at first, but once they had learnt to fly, each owl roosted on branches near the nest and waited for their parents.

The owls’ parents were busy catching insects to feed the babies. Kouya Sakihama saw them during his morning walk and said, “I was worried that crows might attack the babies. I was glad to see them leaving their nest.”

Ryukyu brown hawk owls are listed as semi-endangered species on Okinawa’s red data book. The brown hawk is called Aoba zuku in Japanese. Aoba means green leafs and zuku means owl in old Japanese language. The owl is named Aoba zuku because, when green leaves start to come out, people start to see the owls.

Owls are nocturnal birds and sing, “hohho hohho”. Their bodies are about 29 centimetres long, their eyes are yellow and they have a long tail.

Kenji Takehara from Okinawa Wild Bird Research group said, “owl parents raise baby owls by feeding them insects and the babies are fledging within about 20 days. I want people to enjoy the serenity of watching the baby owls.”

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato)

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