EV Langley never knows what variety of animal stray will next need lodgings at her Cherry Gardens rescue centre.

She certainly wasn't expecting six orphaned Barn Owl chicks.

Dehydrated and cold, the birds were found on Sunday at Auburn, in the state's Mid-North, after a nesting branch fell and left them exposed.

"I put them straight into the incubator with the humidity and heat cranked up," Ms Langley said.

Ms Langley said finding six owls is extremely rare and had they not been rescued. she fears the chicks would have died from pneumonia.

A video taken shortly after their arrival and posted to the centre's Facebook page shows the young birds swaying their heads, which Ms Langley explains as a sign of distress.
 

Bev Langley of the Animal Rescue Centre in SA with one of the barn owls. Picture: Tait Schmaal
Bev Langley of the Animal Rescue Centre in SA with one of the barn owls. Picture: Tait Schmaal


The new residents spent the night in a darkened incubator to mimic an owl's natural habitat.

They were then removed and placed into a heated enclosure.

All six are feeding well and will now be prepared for release - meaning the Langleys will ensure they are exposed to humans as little as possible.

The chicks are fed using a hand puppet and a long pair of tweezers, and will learn to fly in an enclosure at the farm.

Ms Langley said it would be at least a few weeks before the group is ready for release, and expected to let them go together. The shelter is now appealing for donations of frozen mice to feed the owls.

News Corp Australia

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