The two barn owls are spending a lazy Sunday in the old nest box. They’re staying in the old nest box more now, hopefully a sign that they’ve chosen it as their nesting site this year.
Our refugee barn owl seems to have moved on, and the two love birds (geddit?!) have moved back into the old nest box. Unfortunately the empty nest box is being eyed up by a jackdaw, though fortunately no signs of nesting in it yet.
A quick sort through our photo database reveals three of our favourite owl photos.
The refugee has been making a habit of coming out and sitting on the ledge a few minutes before dusk, just perfect for a proper camera shot from the hide. Here he is in all his glory, only, erm, he is actually (we think) a she – the black spots on the flanks are usually only on the female.
Three days of absence, no idea where he’s been (perhaps on his stag weekend) and we were getting a bit worried, but he’s back and they’re back busy preening each other and waiting out the latest stormy weather.
In this clip they get spooked by something outside and he goes out to sort it out – there’s a bit of noise and he soon comes back and they carry on as before.
No, the owl’s not being sick, it’s bringing up a pellet (the undigested remains of its last meal, likely a field vole).
The refugee has woken up and having a good stretch before flying off. Look out for when it delicately pulls each of its flight feathers through its beak.
One, two, and er, three! We have a new owl, who has suddenly appeared in the old nest box. Not sure where it’s come from, possibly a refugee from the recent storms. It’s sheltering in the box that the other owls were planning to use as a nest (rather than a roost), so we’re not sure how this is going to turn out.
It looks like the owls are settling in to the new nest box during the day, perhaps their old roosts have been damaged by the recent storms. There’s another storm coming, but tonight should be dry so plenty of opportunity to hunt.
They’re both in the same nest box today, waiting for the rain to stop, the wind to drop and for night to come. Here’s sixty seconds of relaxation!
Something spooked one of the owls today while they were sleeping out the storm. You can hear the wind then banging on the nest box, perhaps twigs but more likely a squirrel, who wisely backed off (remember what happened to Squirrel Nutkin!).
Sheltering from Storm Ciara today, one owl in each of the nest boxes. Not sure why they don’t share the same box: perhaps one snores.
Not a particularly elegant entry to the nest box, but here’s one of the barn owls settling in for a rest, oddly in the middle of the day, and in the old nest box which they’ve only been using at night.
One of the barn owls has decided to spend today in the new nest box rather than roosting elsewhere as they have been doing. Not sure where the other one is – they were both in the old nest box last night.
It does feel a bit voyeuristic watching them spend time together, particularly when they get all frisky and start practising making hootlets.
We have sound (but no music!) as both the barn owls arrive, noisily at first, then romantic silence as they settle in together.
And we start with a new camera – not working properly yet (no sound, video not exporting properly), but once it is we should have day and night videos of the barn owl box.
We think this is the male. Paler markings and no black spots on front unlike the female, and the male tends to be the one seeking out and preparing nest sites.
Say hello to Mr Tawny!
Little doubt this time, different markings compared to a barn owl. Only one so far, hopefully the other is hiding in the nest box.