A juvenile hawk owl, thought to have been injured by a cat, will help Christmas Island residents understand the importance of responsible cat ownership.
The owl was found outside a shop in the Drumsite area and we think it has only recently left the nest. Sadly it looks as though the primary feathers are unlikely to grow back which means it will be very vulnerable if released in to the wild. So, we’ve rallied together and built the owl a new home in which to rest and recover!
The owl will become part of a broader program to help us better understand the birds. It’s a great way for us to be able to monitor the species up close, understand its calls, and increase Islanders’ awareness about the threat of cats. For many residents this will be the first time they have seen the species as it is very elusive, living in open forests, in the wild.
The Christmas Island hawk-owl is currently listed as vulnerable because of the small population size – only about 1,000 live on Christmas Island. A recovery plan is in place to stop the decline and aid its recovery.
Despite its tough start to life, the owl has a healthy appetite and is eating chicks, rats, moths, crickets and other insects.
Caitlyn, Christmas Island National Park
Like this? Check out the owl’s night-time antics in our Facebook photo album