Owlets found nesting beneath Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage
One of the owlets was found beneath the Pyramid Stage as Guns N' Roses rocked the 2023 Glastonbury Festival...
by PAUL JONES
WHILE Guns N' Roses were rocking away on the Pyramid Stage at this year's Glastonbury Festival - something altogether more subdued was taking place right beneath their feet.
For while the band was Knocking on Heaven's Door, two baby owls were rocking themselves to sleep underneath the iconic Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm, in Pilton.
The first owlet was discovered during the US band's set on the Saturday of the festival (June 24), and named Axl after the GnR frontman.
The bird was initially taken to the RSPCA centre at West Hatch, near Taunton, but was soon transferred to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue (SWWR), at East Huntspill, near Highbridge.
Then, the following day, SWWR received a call about another bird found in the same place, thought to be Axl’s sibling.
Named Slash, after the Guns N’ Roses guitarist, the pair were soon reunited and clearly pleased to see each other.
Both Axl and Slash are now in an outside aviary at SWWR and although a little camera shy, are both doing well, showing no signs of them exhibiting their musical talent yet though.
David Plant, fundraising manager at SWWR, said: "When Guns n’ Roses were playing Welcome to the Jungle, I’m sure they didn’t realise how close they actually were to wildlife.
"This is possibly the most unusual disturbance case we’ve heard about this year, but it just goes to show the importance of checking your surroundings for wildlife before any activity."
The Pyramid Stage frame is left in place all year when Worthy goes back to being a dairy farm.
And SWWR experts said the pair of owlets thought it would be a great place to make a nest.
Owls are a cavity-nesting species, favouring holes in old trees, but they have been recorded nesting in rabbit holes and take well to man-made nest boxes.
"Whether you’re renovating your garden, or setting up for the world’s biggest musical festival, our advice is always the same: if you’ve got materials or structures that have been in place for a while, please check them carefully before moving anything, as you may end up disturbing a nest," an SWWR spokesperson added.
"It looks like the parents sadly abandoned their nest once festival preparation began, so it’s difficult to say how long the chicks were left alone.
"We’re so grateful to the people who found and helped them; they must have been terrified after enduring almost two full days of loud music."
The rescue centre plans to return the owlets to the wild once they're old enough.
SWWR is open from 8am to 8pm 365 days a year, with staff and volunteers always happy to help with wildlife queries.
If you’ve found an animal you think may be sick, injured, or orphaned, call 01278 783250 for advice before intervening, unless the animal is obviously in immediate danger.
Anyone wishing to help support Axl and Slash's rehabilitation and eventual release can donate to the charity at www.secretworld.org/support-us