A NEW batch of babies is keeping carers on their toes with feeds every four hours.

For six new baby owls have been born at Falconry UK, the birds of prey and conservation centre at Sion Hill, Kirby Wiske.

One of the baby snowy owls is to be named Dalby, in memory of Neil Dalby, a young boy from Sowerby, Thirsk, who regularly visited the centre. Neil died two years ago after a long battle against leukaemia.

The owner of the centre, Ian Ashton said: "Neil loved to come here and the owls were his favourites.

"The snowy owl in question has been bred from two barn owls given to the centre by Maj Creese of Catterick Garrison. Neil's parents, Andy and Claire Dalby sponsored the pair and this is the first time since being here that they have had chicks.

"Neil himself sponsored another of the owls so we thought it would be a nice gesture to name the snowy owl after him.'

In total staff are hand rearing three snowy owls, whose native land is the Arctic, a barn owl and a boo-book, whose native land is Australia.

"It's just like feeding babies, who need food on demand every four hours, night and day for the first few weeks," Mr Ashton added.