Thursday, July 17, 2008

More on the Owls

News just in from Mrs H who is on owlet patrol, even as I type....

We have two juvenile delinquents! 9.30 p.m. and a commotion outside, two owlets were on the ground - I think one was from last night and another which was older but could not fly. Got the ladder ran over, one headed off into the long grass and the littlest one legged it to the laurel bush. I managed to get it, it was very lively a good sign, back into the box and as I put him in another flew out I don't know if it was a parent or the young one that flies now, I nearly fell off the ladder. It then immediately jumped out again. Ran after him again up the ladder back in the box. Now for the second one, I had to search in the long grass found him he was snapping his beak at me apparently that is another healthy sign he wasn't keen on being caught, up the ladder back in the box and then I legged it!!!!

I think Bill Oddie has people to do this stuff for him I can't imagine him getting up the ladder never mind legging it! This owl sitting is stressful stuff. I will have to do a check under the laurel bush etc tomorrow morning to make sure they didn't go off wandering through the night.

So that looks like three - if they all make it. One flying, one about to fly and the littlest one a couple of weeks to go before it fledges. We know there was at least five, we lost two and we have these three, according to that font of all knowledge - the Barn Owl Trust the average brood size is 3.6. They are the most wonderful creatures to hold, they are incredibly soft and they sometimes play dead although looking at you with those amazing eyes.

14 comments:

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

This owl sitting is stressful stuff. I will have to do a check under the laurel bush etc tomorrow morning to make sure they didn't go off wandering through the night.


Under or on top of the bush, Richard?

r morris said...

This just keeps getting more and more exciting. Do I detect a possible book or article out of this?

Daily Referendum said...

Must be a hoot! ...... sorry:)

CherryPie said...

This story reminds my of babies throwing the toy on the floor, just so you keep picking it up!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

How tender-hearted you both are - all the best to the owlets from Sicily.

Devonshire Dumpling said...

I love owls and quite often see them when I am driving through the local country lanes. I hope your owls appreciate you both - they certainly should.

Aileni said...

Well, if you and your wife have anything to do with it, the outlook for Stryx is good. I haven't seen a Barn Owl in years. A Snowy about seven years ago and a fleeting look at a Long Eared flying from our fence on Inishfree.
I hope your wife's stamina holds out.

Trubes said...

I hope your Owlets stay with you when they grow up Richard. How kind you both are.

We have a visiting Owl that sometimes sits on a neighbours roof, eyeing up our pet Rabbit, who is quite big so, I reckon he's safe from Mr Owl.
Although we live in Suburbia, there are several woods dotted around the area.
I once saw an owl sitting on top of some traffic lights, that caused a considerable amount of chaos!
Lovely story Richard.


Di.

Dragonstar said...

You're doing an excellent job here, and it must be so exciting. Exhausting, too (that's three E-words for you!) Wonderful if you help raise three healthy Barn Owls.

sally in norfolk said...

wow what heroes you and Mrs H are... often see owls round my neck of the woods love to see them fly low to the ground

Middle Ditch said...

A lovely post. The three surviving ones probably ate their siblings. Do you know that owls branch when they are old enough? So perhaps you don't need to put them back into the nest after all. It's worth checking out.

Michelle said...

First visit...It must be like taking care of children when you have a nesting box. I want to put up a couple here..but then will I be a "grandma"?

Michelle said...

Are these barn owls? I watched two nesting boxes here in the states and it was so stressful...sibling eating sibling, owls from another nest attacking..The mama started out with 8 and fledged 2...too stressful...

Mrs H said...

middleditch, apparently tawny owls branch but not barn owls. We are going to have a bigger platform built so that should help next year.

michelle, it must have been a bad year for owls, the siblings should only be eaten if there is a shortage of food. On the stress front it has been worth it, the experience has been magic.