I had Monday off for a new bank holiday. What do I do on a holiday? If I have time I hike and see if I can spot owls or their owlets.
Luckily I found two of the three owlets on lower branches. They planted themselves on this tree for a few hours. I got a lot of nice pictures out of it. One seems to stay well hidden now. I look at him as the designated driver. Instead of not drinking to stay safe and keeping everyone else safe he stays well hidden to stay safe. Or am I wrong about this and the third one is more shy?
This week I got to see the babies a few times. They are like little children on sugar when they are awake. They fly from branch to branch following each other. It looks like they are chasing each other in a game of tag. They don’t linger on trees too long before they take flight again while they are awake.
BARRED OWLET SOUND
Click on the audio file below to hear the noise barred owlets make.
Do owlets have ADHD? With all the flying they do while they are awake I wonder how many rodents their parents need to catch for them a day.
I placed another tick in a box last night. I was beginning to think I would never see an owl feed their babies. They seemed to shy away from doing that within eyesight of me. Then, last night I saw and heard them in all one areas again.
The one parent flew to the same tree as the children. I could not tell if it had someone, but someone I was with said they saw it was holding a chipmunk. If you look carefully under the branch you see dangling legs.
The parent flew to another tree and the owlets followed.
The parent then proceeded to tear out pieces of the chipmunk and feed them to the owlets.
They don’t always do this within view. Sometimes it is high up in the tree tops with leaves blocking the view. I was so happy to see this tonight. Owls are predators. It is what they do to survive.
Surprise! There are three owlets. After only hearing them for about a week, but not seeing them, I found them today. They were all together on the same branch with good views from a couple of different places nearby.
A parent was in a neighbouring tree. They were probably begging for food. I was hoping to see a parent feed them and I knew at least one of them was hunting nearby. But once again a thunderstorm was approaching .
I am happy I at least got to see the three of them together and I hope I am lucky enough in the future to see a parent feed them. Enjoy your week!
One evening last week I hiked on a trail and was taken aback by the fact I saw him not far from the trail on a low branch to a tree very close to me. I almost missed him. I backed up and took these pictures, then walked away. I think he was faking sleep because he appears to be in hunting mode.
He occasionally turned around in different directions to spy chipmunks, squirrels , etc. that were moving around nearby.
Get out and enjoy nature. It may take you by surprise.
April showers bring May flowers as the saying goes. So far we have experienced a lot of cloudy days and a lot of rain. One day 3-4 inches in one storm. As a result it is hard to get out to walk. There are streams going over the trails in the woods where there have not been streams before. The trails are very muddy in spots. Here’s hoping for some better weather.
These are all taken with a zoom lens and heavily cropped.
I found this one the usual way. This was before sunset in a pine tree on a cold day. I had a hard time getting a good angle with the branches. They like to hide in pine trees this time of year when the leaves are not on the other trees yet. The owl’s mate was on a neighbouring pine tree.
The babies from different local parks and wildlife areas are starting to hunt. I try to catch local youngsters at least a few times a week. The parents are less visible now. They are leaving them more and more on their own. Soon they may be off to find their own territory.
I will enjoy these youngsters while I can. Who knows, maybe in other nearby parks in the coming years these owlets with raise their own families. One can only hope.