Tame barn owl missing in Exmouth after being attacked by mob of seagulls in her own back garden

PUBLISHED: 11:37 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:50 18 February 2019

Gwedd went missing from her home in Woodfield Close. Picture: Nic Gibson

Gwedd went missing from her home in Woodfield Close. Picture: Nic Gibson

Archant

A captive barn owl is missing in Exmouth after she was attacked by a mob of more than ten seagulls in her own back garden.

A captive barn owl is missing in Exmouth after she was attacked by a mob of more than ten seagulls in her own back garden.

Four-year-old Gwedd, who belongs to Nic and Andy Gibson, was being moved between aviaries when she was bombarded by the flock of birds on February 13.

Despite Mrs Gibson desperately trying to recall Gwedd so she could move her out of harm’s way, the seagulls launched a repeated attack on the owl, plucking out her feathers and pecking her.

Gwedd was forced to fly onto rooftops and into trees to avoid the gulls, but was soon harassed by nesting rooks. She eventually fled and is still missing.

Mrs Gibson, who lives in Woodfield Close said: “Gwedd is entering into mating season, so is at what is called a fat weight.

“She is really heavy because she has been eating lots and getting pumped up with vitamins.

“This will keep her fit and healthy during her resting period.

“Her instinct now will be to come home - she can not nest in a tree like tawny owls.

“She will want her roost as she has had it for four years, and it’s hers.”

Mrs Gibson admitted that should Gwedd not return, she could be hunted by other predators or potentially starve.

She said: “In the wild, barn owls live on average for two years.

“In captivity, they can live for up to 25 years.”

Mrs Gibson said she is optimistic that her owl is still in the area.

She and others have also spotted barn owls in and around the area, but have been unable to confirm that they are Gwedd.

She added: “If she is on her own now, she should be hungry and looking for home.

“There’s a chance that she could be being fed by a male barn owl, but we don’t know for sure.”

Mrs Gibson rescued Gwedd four years ago, and usually takes her out and about in the town.

The owl can frequently be seen having her photo taken by diners as she enjoys a breakfast with Mrs Gibson at McDonalds at Liverton Business Park.

Gwedd should be identifiable as she has anklets and flying straps on.

She is also displaying an International Bird Register ring.

Mrs Gibson said: “If you find Gwedd, so not try to handle her unless she is hurt as her claws and beak are very sharp and strong - she will see you as a stranger and a threat.

“If she is hurt wrap her in a towel and keep her warm and get hold of us straight away.”

Call Nic on 07964 525581.

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