One of the parent
owls brings a frog to owlet.
Our first glimpse of 'baby'
. Shot using Sony camcorder on March 10 about 10am.
On January 19 2003
we spotted mother owl in nesting mode. Strangely enough they had picked the
tree-mounted emergency nest/planter from 2002 season.
In the first week of March
we observed the parents bringing food to the planter. One or more eggs must
|March 15th was a two milestone
day. Not only did the owlet make it up on the rim, but his(or her) sibling
also got a chance to be seen. We now have two owlets. There are many atvantages
to being on the rim. When food shows up, the owlet closest and fastest gets
||Sunday March 23rd: The owlets
have made great progress. They can hop up on the rim with minimum effort.
They will jump from one side to the other. They do lots of stretching, and
often the stretch ends with a vigous wing flap. The action seems involuntery.
Recent meals include crawfish, frogs, lizards and mice.
|On March 26,
one of the owlets left the nest. We did not witness its departure, so it
is impossible to say if it jumped, fell or flew away. Maybe a combination
of all three. The next day the second owlet joined its sibling. We
can hear them and have spotted them in the trees about eight feet off the
ground. The parents are still nearby and will continue to feed them.
Now the long process begins of training the owlets to locate and capture
the food they need to survive. This shot of the parent is typical of the
close eye they keep on me when I venture into my yard. She is relatively
calm, no beak snapping or other warning signs. It is always important to
be careful around these birds, as they can be very protective of their young.
||Hiding in a palm tree, one
of the owlets is quiet as a mouse. The only muscle movement was its eyes
blinking. The light feathers makes it hard to hide. I shot this with a telephoto
lens from about 75 feet away. (Mar 29)
|In the first weeks of April
the owlets are 'branching'. In this stage they climb, fall and soar from
branch to branch. Slowly refining their flying and landing skills. By mid
month they seem to be in full control and able to fly and land anywhere they
like. The parents are almost always near by and the owlets are usually
calling in their raspy call for more food.
||By mid April
the owlets and their parents are moving further from our house. They seem
to move alot. We can hear them move closer in the evening. Our lawn, bird
feeder and compost heap offer hunting opertunities that are not avilable
in the woods.
I am on pretty good terms
with the owls this year. They did not 'pop' their beaks at me
once this year. They seem to consider me part of the landscape. They do keep
an eye on me. I always try to minimize my contact.
|After several weeks of no sightings,
the owlets showed up this am (May 23rd). They were outside our bathroom
window 'hissing' for food. They were within 20 feet of our home. They
were not hissing at us, we have never feed them. They were hissing
for their parents to feed them. I was out in the yard with them for about
25 minutes shooting stills and video. I saw no sign of mom, but I don't doubt
for a second that she was near by keeping an close eye on me.
Owls are wild animals. They have very sharp talons and can be very protective
of their young. They have been known to attack the eyes of people that violate
their space. Don't approach any wild animals.