Oscar winner lands back down to earth

Kept inside: Eagle owl Checkers is under house arrest while the stardust settles
Kept inside: Eagle owl Checkers is under house arrest while the stardust settles
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Oscar winning bird Checkers has been grounded to stop Hollywood fame flying to his head.

Only days after his triumph at the Academy Awards, Preston’s celebrity eagle owl is confined to his aviary in case he fancies himself as a feathered “lurve machine.”

“It’s mating season and he’s a bit frisky,” said Andy Bilsborough, the bird sanctuary boss who hatched him from an egg. “He’s a movie star now, so he’s bound to have the birds queuing up. So he’s staying in until the fuss - and his hormones - have died down.”

Checkers shot to fame when a slow-motion clip of him pouncing on his prey was used in Spike Jonze’ latest film ‘Her.’ The sci-fi romantic drama took the Oscar for the Best Original Screenplay this week, to add to the Golden Globe it won in the same category in January.

Sadly Checkers was back home sulking in Samlesbury when his co-stars and the rest of the movie world were partying in Tinsel Town.

“He’s sitting there hooting and tooting, waiting for the ladies,” said Andy who runs the Turbary Woods Bird of Prey Sanctuary near Penwortham. “And I suppose, being an Oscar-winner, he might be expecting the girls to be queuing up. But he’s stopping in until he can behave.

“He’s in full blown mating mode right now and so I daren’t take him to the sanctuary just yet. His adoring public are going to have to wait. But once he has calmed down and the stardust has settled he’ll be back at Turbary for all the fans to see.”

Andy has just returned from a week’s holiday in the sun and was just touching down in chilly Lancashire late on Sunday when writer-director Spike Jonze wa