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Ernie the owl retiring after being a hoot at Warwick Castle for three decades

A much-loved owl with a "big personality" who has been a hoot at Warwick Castle for three decades is winging his way into retirement.

Ernie has been wowing audiences with his aerial antics around the turrets of the historical West Midlands attraction on average twice a day for 30 years.

During his long service, the African Verreaux's Eagle Owl with a wingspan of 165cm is estimated to have made around 20,000 flights.

He most recently starred in The Falconer's Quest, the UK's largest bird of prey show.

He will be performing his final flypast during the Easter holidays before gliding off into a quieter life in the Yorkshire Dales with Hawk Experience, which organises the bird of prey displays at Warwick Castle.

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Castle general manager Liam Bartlett said: "Ernie is a much-loved member of staff at Warwick Castle.

"He has a big personality, is often stubborn and likes to freestyle his shows, but that's why we love him.

"We're excited for him to spend his twilight years in the stunning Yorkshire Dales with other feathered friends."

The Verreaux's Eagle Owl is the largest owl species in Africa and the only type to have pink eyelids.