By Cally Brooks
A schoolboy has made some unusual playmates after he school closed – and has struck up an adorable friendship with three baby owls.
Oliver-Ellis Birdsall, nine, helps to look after the birds and even reads the four-week old owlets stories after his dad, Mark, ended up looking after the birds.
Now, care of the fluffy chicks is part of Oliver’s home schooling routine as he helps his dad, who runs a wildlife centre.
The Siberian eagle owl babies hatched at the Baytree Owl and Wildlife Centre, Spalding, Lincolnshire, just four weeks ago.
Dad Mark Birdsall, 42, runs the centre and often brings his sons Oliver and Bobby, 4, to help with feeding the animals. Oliver has always taken a particular liking to the baby owls and loves feeding them, looking after them and reading to them.
Now, an adorable video of Oliver reading ‘Owl Babies’ has gone viral.
In the video, Oliver is sitting in the play pen with the owls when three of them decide to huddle round whilst he’s reading them a story.
Mark and his wife, Louise, 31, have been setting the boys a school timetable to follow but try to make it more fun by allowing them to visit the wildlife centre with their Dad a few times a day.
The centre has shut for business but Mark still has to visit every day to ensure all of the animals are fed and get the human contact that they need.
He said: “Every day we have a school timetable but we try to make it a little more fun. They often come to the centre with me and they will sit and do a couple of things with me.
“Oliver had a book to read so he asked if he could read to the owls, there’s six of them in the play pen and they all huddled together.
“He spends a lot of time at the centre, he loves the baby owls. They’re fed every four hours so he’ll come down with me first thing in the morning to feed them and then at lunch time as well.
“Oliver has grown up with wild life and will often read to them, the owls like the interaction and are inquisitive in nature.
“Even though the centre is closed, I am still having to come down everyday to feed the birds and make sure they’re getting the exercise they need. We have over 100 birds and some are part of the flying demonstrations we hold so they still need to be flown everyday, it’s part of their routine.
“Oliver is already planning on reading to the owls again, he loves it”.