Learning to taxi

The oldest owlet is almost ready to start flying: it is now hopping up and down Before any aviator learns to fly they have to learn to taxi! From dusk to dawn the two older owlets are practising leaping around the nest box and nearby branches as they strengthen their wings and balance.

The youngest owlet isn’t big (or bold) enough to join them yet but it won’t be long before all three are outside together. The adults are still coming back to feed them but will soon start to reduce the amount to get the youngsters hungry and encourage them to start to hunt for themselves.

Our new trailcam shows a series of clips from last night showing what the owlets are getting up to.

Here’s the clip of one of the adults bringing back food for the owlets. are getting up to.

Preflight checks

The oldest owlet is almost ready to start flying: it is now hopping up and down between the nest box ledge and the camera boom above it, encouraged by the second owlet. The youngest is still in the nest box, not quite ready to come out into the open air and join in the fun.

In a day or two the oldest will risk all and leap into thin air from the ledge for the first time and start flying.

Hello World

Freedom Day and the oldest owlet ventures out onto the nest box ledge for the very first time. 50 days old and still covered with fluff, it surveys the strange thing that is the world outside.

What a difference nine months makes

As high summer takes hold the pond and field show how much they have recovered from the muddy battlefield of last October. The meadow is lush and the water clear and once more full of life: dragonflies crisscross the surface and squadrons of young house martens noisily practice their divebombing skills. As the sun goes down pipistrelle bats appear silently in the evening above the ripples and plops of hungry roach. And then the barn owls appear.

Wobble head

Another quite day for the three owlets but they are beginning to get a bit restless: here’s one practising its neck exercises in front of the camera.

Sorry about the thumping noise – it’s a fault with the camera

Growing up

Day 42 and the owlets are developing the typical barn owl heart-shaped face and they start to lose their fluff to reveal their new feathers.

Another week and we hope to have a visit from the Shropshire Barn Owl Group to check and ring the owlets: a great chance to see the three wobble-heads close up!