By David Keane
A ‘super-cute’ baby owl has become an internet sensation after it was caught on camera giving an ‘infectious’ yawn that is prompting anyone who views it to do the same.
Gerald Robinson has been returning to photograph a family of owls for around three years at a church in Rotherham, South Yorks, and was lucky enough to film one of this year’s young on Wednesday.
Hilarious footage shows the tiny creature perched on a gravestone and turning its head to look at the camera to reveal an almighty yawn before pulling a face more akin to someone recovering from a ‘heavy session’ rather than a baby bird.
The little owl [this is the breed] has captivated hearts of social media users after Gerald’s footage was shared by BBC Springwatch, sending the sleepy animal viral with more than 400,000 views.
In fact, his yawn is prompting hundreds of yawns from anyone who views the footage.
Dad-of-three Gerald, from Rotherham, said: “Everyone who watches it says it makes them yawn. It’s funny, no one seems to be able to get through the video without yawning.
“It really does look human the way it does it – it looks like it had had a hard night out.
“It looks more like a bloke who’s been out on the town until 3am rather than a baby owl who has been relaxing in the sun all day.
“It was very funny to watch its facial expression and to see such a small creature do such a big yawn.
“I had only been filming it on and off for around 10 or 15 minutes so I was very lucky to catch it.
“The video has gone crazy online. The little thing seems to have captured people’s imagination. It’s the cute factor I think – it is particularly cute.”
The owl has three siblings, all of which Gerald estimates to only be a matter of months old, however are already growing independent from their parents.
Gerald, 56, said: “You often hope to capture something like this but no matter how hard you try or how often you go, you usually don’t. So I feel very lucky to have done this time.
“It’s amazing. I have been going there for around three years to watch the family of owls and I have never seen one yawn, never mind catch it on camera.
“They’re amazing creatures.
“This is one of this year’s youngsters and was probably only born around May time. They were tiny at first but they are just growing up and starting to go off around the church yard on their own. They are getting much more independent.
“There were four youngsters this year and all have survived and are doing well. I think it is always the same mum and dad but you can never be sure. I like to think they are.”
Social media users were quick to point out how ‘infectious’ the owl’s yawn is.
Malcolm Ingram wrote: “Anyone else yawning as you watch this?”
Among those in agreement, Rachel Williams responded: “I could watch and yawn all day with this owl!”
Ellen Nieuwland said: “It is infectious!”
Maja Świątkowska wrote: “I yawned immediately and can’t stop.”
Pamela Smith said: “This what waking up on a Saturday morning, after a nice long lay in, all snuggled in your duvet, should look like, and then you decide to go back to sleep anyway!”