A PAIR of Great Grey Owls have bred a total of five chicks at Hayle's Paradise Park.

The adult pair were bred at Paignton Zoo and came to Paradise Park in 2011.

Keeper Sarah-Jayne Cooke said: “When we first noticed that this new pairing had laid five eggs, we were not sure if they would be able to handle hatching and rearing all five.

"So we stepped in to take two of the eggs, to hatch and hand-rear to ensure that at least two survived. To our delight, we can now confirm that the adults have successfully hatched and reared the other three eggs, which is fantastic news.”

“Once the two that we are hand-rearing are fully grown, they will be part of our education displays, and fly in the shows for visitors to see and learn about these wonderful owls and the conservation issues that face many species in the wild.”

Visitors will be able to see the three other fast growing chicks soon as they leave their nest and explore their enclosure.

Great Grey Owls are one of the largest of owl species.

They have layers of fluffy feathers which trap warm air next to the body, insulating it from icy winds and making them appear even bigger.

As well as keeping them warm, owl feathers have soft fringed edges which muffle the rush of air – they fly so quietly that their prey doesn’t hear them swooping.

They have excellent hearing, and may locate and capture prey moving beneath 60cm (2.0 ft) of snow in a series of tunnels, solely with that sense.

They live in the damp, mossy forests of Scandinavia and North America.

The harvest of timber from the Great Grey Owl's habitat is a threat to this species in the wild.

Watch the video below of keeper Sarah-Jayne Cooke who shows what’s involved in the feeding of the chicks.