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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Two Owl Families - on 4th July, 2012 (not quite Independence Day!)

I went out this day to visit my friend Titus White, and his Barn Owl family. On the way I stopped at my latest Little Owl site (No.28). The owls were out, and the juveniles were getting far more independent, although it was evident that the parents were keeping an eye on things.






Little Owl (juvenile) - my Site No.28
Little Owl - my Site No.28
I've recently learned that the owner of the house is going to repair the roof that these owls are nesting in. I'm now concentrating on setting up nesting boxes in the hope that, when they are evicted, they'll settle locally. I'm not too hopeful though as nothing will match the comfort and convenience that they are enjoying at the moment.

At Titus's place I settled into my hide to await the emergence of the owls. The young were still in their natal box 'the bungalow', whilst the adults were next door in 'the mansion'. First to emerge was the male adult.

Barn Owl (male)
The skies had been pretty black when I first entered the hide, and whilst the male was away there was torrential rain. The hide is fairly waterproof in normal circumstances, but with this amount of rain was coming through the top seam and dripping onto me and my camera. I daren't move in case the male was close by and saw me leave.

As the rain eased, a juvenile peeked out of the bungalow doorway. I suspect, from the apparently full feathering, that this was the oldest of the three juveniles.

Barn Owl (juvenile)


































A short while later, the female adult emerged from the mansion. She didn't hang around long, but stayed just long enough for me to get one shot - fortunately it turned out to be OK. You can see that she is considerably bigger than the male.

Barn Owl (female)


































The female returned with food a while later and departed again immediately. This caused a second juvenile to stick its head out of the bungalow. This one still had fluff on its head, and I suspect that this was the youngest of the three.

Barn Owl (juvenile)


































I sat waiting for the adults to return, but the skies were getting even blacker by the minute. Eventually there was an absolute deluge of rain. I sat it out for a while, hoping that the birds would return and go back into the boxes so I could emerge unseen. Eventually, after 22:00, I decided that enough was enough, and quickly dragged everything, soaking wet, into Titus's garage.

As the light was terrible all through, I'm pleasantly surprised that any of the images were useful. One day, I'll be there when an owl emerges in good light, but it's not happened yet!

A few days later, when I went to survey my Little Owl Site No.28 for nest box locations, three of the juveniles were out, and one of the adults was keeping an eye on things.

Little Owl - my Site No.28







8 comments:

  1. What a treat to see these little chaps,love the Barn Owl,not seen any this yaer.
    Must get out more.
    John.

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    1. HI John. Other than at a couple of locations where I can be relatively sure of seeing them, I've only had two 'chance' sightings of Barn Owl this year, the first time being in May - and I've been out birding more in the evening than at any other time of day.

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  2. Some more brill images mate!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Paul for the comments and for the inspiration to get out and do it.

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  3. I love the first picture Richard:)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda. I nearly didn't include it, but am now glad I did!

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  4. Fantastic shots! I'd love to see this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words 'Rohrerbot'. Sorry not to have replied before now but I've been away for a week. I should be putting up some more 'juvenile' images soon.

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