Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 11:14 UK

Mystery of manure-covered owl chicks

Tawny owl chicks
The pair of tawny owl chicks were found in the middle of a Fife field covered in manure

Two tawny owls found in the middle of a Fife field covered in manure have left animal welfare officers wondering how they got there.

The four-week-old birds were found by a farmer in Crossford, who took them to the Scottish SPCA's wildlife rescue centre at Middlebank, near Dunfermline.

Officials said it was a "mystery" how they came to be in the middle of a field as they are not yet able to fly.

They are still being cared for at the centre after being found on 24 March.

Branching stage

Centre manager Colin Seddon said: "It's a mystery how these baby owls came to be found in the middle of a field as they are not yet able to fly.

"They would have only been at the branching stage, which is when they leave the nest and sit on branches nearby waiting for their parents to bring them food.

"Thankfully the adventurous owls are none the worse for their ordeal and after being washed clean, dried and transferred to a warm enclosure they are now coming on leaps and bounds.

"They are being kept in our raptor room and are doing great. They both have excellent appetites, which is a good sign for their recovery.

"We're optimistic they will develop well and be returned to the wild when they are fully fledged and happy in flight."



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