Tuesday, 10 January 2012

10 Things... January 2012

Shimelle Laine runs 10 Things on the 10th of each month.  
This list of 10 things has been hard to put together, I have been planning it for 2 months but needed to find the right time to work on the list and find the photos.

On Saturday 19th November 2011, Ufo our Little Owl (the picture on the Right of my banner) died.  I had fed her as normal on the Friday evening and she was fine, on Saturday morning I found her in her nest box.  It looked as if she had fallen asleep and did not wake up.

So my list of 10 Things is month is...

10 Things about Ufo:

1. She hatched on 8 June 1996 along with a brother & sister
This photo was taken when Ufo was 6 weeks old.  It was the first time that I had seen her and I fell in love...
2. On 8 August 1996 she moved in to live with me & my parents

    Ufo at 10 weeks old, she was now starting to bond with me, she would even sit on the glove for short periods of time (plenty of patience was required!!)
3. Initially she lived in the Kitchen until she was fully feathered and could move outside to the aviary.  Back then I would eat my breakfast while sat on the floor with Ufo running around the floor.  One morning she found a current that had fallen on the floor (mum had been baking) and she ate it!!!  An owl is not designed to eat currents (only meat) and I was really worried about how her digestive system would cope.  Later that evening the panic was over when I found a pellet (the leftovers) which included a current!

4. When Ufo was 10 1/2 months old DH took her picture for the first time & she cast her spell over him too!
    Ufo's first photo shoot, and she behaved very well.  This was to be the first of many photos taken of her in various trees over the years
5. As Ufo started to show her personality we soon found that that she was no Angel, she would regularly get into trouble, but she kept looking so sweet and innocent...

After a quick flight she landed on this candle holder... luckily the candle had not been lit.  She was always getting into everything that a Little Owl should avoid!
6. When DH & I got Married in 1998 Ufo (& Holly, my Barn Owl) joined us at the Wedding. They sat in their travel boxes in the Registry Office and were present for the Reception - After all both Ufo & Holly were my babies!

This is not the greatest picture of us, but the only one we have with the Kids... when this picture was taken we were both talking to the kids!
7.  For Christmas in 1999 I asked DH if we could have a real Christmas Tree, he agreed (provided I cleared up all the needles LOL).  Once we had decorated the tree we needed a special Fairy...

Our Little Christmas Fairy
8.  Ufo loved to have a shower, but only when it rained (and the rain was not too heavy). We found it very difficult to get any pictures of her having a shower - as soon as she saw the camera she would stop!  But when she got wet, she really got very wet...

Is it a Little Owl or a Drowned Rat??
9. Each year Ufo would scare us, normally on 22 April (or within 3-5 days) she would start to lay her eggs.  This is one of the most dangerous things any female bird can do and over the years we have known several owls who have died while trying to lay eggs. 
Each year Ufo laid between 3 & 6 eggs, she would then spend 30-40 days sitting on them.  Not that the eggs would hatch!
10. Over the last 15.5 years Ufo has met and touched many people, even helping some of them overcome bird phobias.  Ufo loved to be the centre of attention, she loved to be hugged and stroked. All of our other owls preferred to be stroked on the tummy - Ufo was different!! She preferred to be stroked on the head & back.  To make life easier for Ufo if we had visitors who wanted to meet her we would sit them down and cover their lap with her tea towel, Ufo would then sit on the tea towel.  If you stopped stroking her she was even known to head-butt you to encourage you to continue!

In many ways creating this list of 10 things was easy, I have so many memories of Ufo, but there are too many to include here today.  In another way it was also very hard, especially to realise that she was 1 in a million and no other owl could ever come close to being the big hearted creature that she was. 

Over the last 10 months her health had started to decline, she had a cataract in her left eye and was starting to lose the sight in her right eye (if she had not already lost it completely).  She was also having problems keeping on weight and I had needed to increase the amount of food that she was given to keep her weight stable.

While writing this list I have rewritten it several times and cried many tears.  Despite this, Ufo brought so much joy into my life as well of that of so many other people. She was even partly responsible for getting DH & me together as a couple. How something so small could make such a difference in so many lives I will never know - but she did.

I will always miss her as she was so special, but I know that she is now truly flying free.

Ufo, Little Owl
(1996 - 2011)


  1. What a lovely tribute to a beautiful owl. When I was much younger, my friends Dad use to look after owls and it was so lovely to go and visit them, they are such wonderful creatures and you are very lucky to have had such a great relationship with Ufo. My thoughts are with you.

  2. I really enjoyed reading about Ufo! It made me smile to see you at your wedding, with both your owls! Sorry to hear that Ufo has gone.

  3. awww what a wonderful story. So sorry she has passed away.

  4. I've really enjoyed reading this post - a fitting tribute to a much loved member of your family!