24 March 2024

He’s a hoot: Owl retiring after three decades at Warwick Castle

24 March 2024

An owl with a “big personality” will be retiring after delighting guests at Warwick Castle for three decades.

Ernie has been soaring and swooping around the West Midlands attraction’s turrets on average for twice a day, every day, for 30 years.

An African Verreaux’s eagle owl with a wingspan of 165cm, Ernie has taken around 20,000 flights and most recently starred in The Falconer’s Quest, the UK’s largest bird of prey show.

He will be performing his final flight during the Easter holidays before retiring to the Yorkshire Dales with Hawk Experience, who organise the bird handling displays at Warwick Castle.

Castle general manager Liam Bartlett said: “Ernie is a much-loved member of staff at Warwick Castle.

“He has a big personality, is often stubborn and likes to freestyle his shows, but that’s why we love him.

“We’re excited for him to spend his twilight years in the stunning Yorkshire Dales with other feathered friends.”

The Verreaux’s eagle owl is the largest owl species in Africa and the only type to have pink eyelids.

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