After discussion at length with many experts it is with slight embarrassment that we have to admit that Bessie is actually Billy. There has been no long term damage to the character of the barn owl as he couldn’t care less what he is called. Sexing a barn owl is a very difficult task in the early stages and until all feathers are apparent it is very much down to guesswork. There are tests which can be carried out but prove to be totally uneconomical. The fact remains that this little bird has and will continue to be a popular attraction at Houghall and various events throughout the county and has already given so much enjoyment to the team and visitors in the short time we have known him.
Photography by Steve Metcalf