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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

More Little Owl Juveniles - on 3rd July, 2014

On an afternoon and evening out with pal Titus, our main objective was to try and get photos of juvenile Little Owls (Athene noctua). Although we saw owls, including juveniles, at several sites, it was at my LO Site No.41 where we came up trumps. Two juveniles performed quite nicely for us.

The first to show was one that seemed very much paler in colouration, and fluffier, than the two we'd previously seen this season at this site, and we were convinced that this was a third juvenile.



Little Owl (Athene noctua) (juvenile) - my Site No.41
After this juvenile had popped into the hole, we had a short while to wait before another juvenile flew up from the hedge line into the nest tree. The area behind the owl, shown in the first image below, is what was the inside of the original nest cavity before the tree split last August!



Little Owl (juvenile) - my Site No.41
Not wanting to outstay our welcome, we moved off to view some other sites. As we passed No.41 on our way back home, only one juvenile was visible (just!). It was lying down and had us worried at first, but we saw it move a few times and came to the conclusion that it had found somewhere it wasn't going to fall out of in its sleep!. 

Little Owl (juvenile) - my Site No.41
I will offer a couple of other images from that afternoon, taken of an adult LO at my Site No.44. The 'safety shot' was taken through the foliage, before we moved on to find a point where there was a 'clear shot'. I think I prefer the 'safety shot', with its frame of foliage.


Little Owl (Athene noctua) - my Site No.44
I've been wondering, for a little while now, about whether to give scientific names of species as well as 'common names', primarily for the benefit of any overseas visitors to this blog that might know species by different names to those commonly used in UK. I've decided to give it a go, so if you have any views on this matter, I'd be pleased to hear them.

Thank you for dropping by. The hint about the probable next post content is in the current header image!

10 comments:

  1. What a lovely young owls :-). Great shots, Richard :-)
    Greetings

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    1. Thank you, Piotr and Michał. As you probably know, I do love Little Owls, but the youngsters are particularly gorgeous!

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  2. The LO juvenile clambering back to the nest hole made me chuckle it looks a precarious climb. I can see why you were worried about the sleeping LO it looks trapped.
    I did do scientific names for a while then got lazy, definately worth sticking with to help visitors out from outside the UK

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    1. I think I'll carry on with the scientific names for a while, Doug, but you're right - it does take a little more time as I'm not familiar with most of them, apart from the British owls.

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  3. I think if you added the scientific name it would help in the google search. I've thought about doing it as well since I sometimes get confused with translations. In Spanish, a bird has a totally opposite or similar name to the English one.....but if I go latin on the bird, it's all the same:) Even in English there is Buzzard vs Hawk. It can get a bit confusing. Titus is a cool name:) Glad owls are well. We had an issue recently here in Arizona. Owl sites MUST be kept secret. Some Burrowing Owls had babies. A location was revealed and photographers....not birders.....went to the site and baited a twig with meal worms. And for 6 weeks this was going on!!!! No one reported a single terrible act within this time. As far as I'm concerned, they were all guilty and should be fined for their actions. Once the birders found out about this, Audubon, wildlife officials, etc were called and the individuals were stopped. Owls make people do the most stupid things. Lately, I've added Barn Owl to my list. They were nesting and I hope people leave them alone. They were under a bridge high up so they won't be as vulnerable. An exciting find happened for me two weeks ago as I spotted my first Whiskered Screech-owl! It is also nesting and the babies are incredible. These guys are in a tree far enough away from the road so people can't really do much except watch. If I see an owl on my own, I won't report its location and throw the marker off so that others can't track it. Anyhow, thanks for sharing your studies. Chris:)

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    1. Thank you for your very interesting comments, Chris. If I don't get lazy I'll continue with the scientific names, but it does take time as I have to consult the book for most of them.

      It sounds as if you're having great success with owl observations over there.

      Like you, I keep locations a secret. I used to divulge the general area of my finds, but even this degree of vagueness still resulted in problems. When selecting my images for this blog I try and avoid using ones which give too many clues as to their whereabouts. As birders we know to be careful. Over-intrusion is bad for all parties, as the birds will (at best) move on and (at worst) not breed, and we will loose the ability to observe them. Titus White (not his real name - but one I gave him as he has Barn Owls in his back yard (think scientific name) and so wanted to keep his real identity secret) and I are always careful about disturbance. Most of my relatively close-up images of Little Owls were heavily cropped from ones taken with a 500mm lens, when sitting in a car on a public road. We get to know the birds quite well, and some seem to take absolutely no notice of us at all. We do, however, keep our distance and limit the visit frequency for those birds that we know to be nervous.

      Hoping that you're surviving the heat over there. Best regards - - - Richard

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  4. That's great! I love the secret name:) I know you look out for the best interest of the owls. I was just shocked at how many people didn't get it. There were some who thought there was nothing wrong with what they did at all. I was recently proud of the birding community here when birders refused to reveal our owls to a visiting photographer. Enjoy the weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Chris. Have a good one yourself. Have the summer vacations started yet over there?

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  5. Wow your photos are amazing, I just love those youngsters they are so cute. Well done, have a good weekend Diane

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    1. Thank you, Diane, for those very kind words. I hope you have a good weekend too!

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