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What a hoot: Alhambra welcomes new night time visitors

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What a hoot: Alhambra welcomes new night time visitors
View across the Alhambra palace and gardens in Granada. Photo: billperry/Depositphotos
12:33 CEST+02:00
The Alhambra fortress-palace in Granada is one of Spain’s most popular tourist sights, attracting thousands of visitors each day to marvel at its pillared courtyards and filigree arches.

But authorities at the ancient Moorish monument are now making a bid for a different type of visitor; one that will fill jasmine-scented nights with hoots and whistles.

The trustees have approved a plan to reintroduce owls into the Arabic gardens by installing 22 wooden nest boxes to provide roosts for the nocturnal residents.

“We need to place the same value on nature conversation as we do on cultural treasures,” explained a press release from the board of trustees.

Conservationalists hope to encourage two species of owls to take up residence among the pines and eucalyptus in the formal gardens.

Two boxes have already provided homes for tawny owls – one of the most common nocturnal birds of prey in Europe whose call is the easily recognizable twit-twoo.

They hope also to encourage a colony of scops owls to settle – the smallest species of birds of prey on the Iberian penisula, whose call is a high pitched whistle.

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