First, an update on the Little Owl chicks at the building site at East Bridgford. I spoke to Chris the builder this morning who told me that all 3 were thriving, despite the building work continuing around the box; they’re getting quite big so I’ll go out and ring then at the weekend.
I ringed more Little Owls yesterday; 2 broods of 3 at
West Leake and Sutton Bonnington. Chris Hughes was with me and we also took along a friend of Chris’, Steve and son George.
We also did a couple of broods of Barn Owls; these were birds that had laid eggs in advance of most of the others; the chicks had been quite big at our first box inspection and I wanted to ring them before my forthcoming holiday; I didn’t want to risk the chance of some of them fledging before I got back.
The first at Thrumpton had 3 good sized chicks with
feathers on the wings coming through while the other brood near Gotham was of 5 chicks which were also well advanced. Adults at both boxes were absent which meant that the female was now helping Dad with the hunting. Chris made the mistake of standing underneath the box; Barn Owls have a defence mechanism of squirting foul liquid at you when you take them from the box; over the years I’ve learnt to point the backside away from me; one pooped and Chris caught the lot; all over his head and shirt and he had to meet a friend in the pub on his way home! I bet there was plenty of room around him!!
Today, I went out to check two boxes that in early May
had eggs. The problem with that is that you don’t know whether the eggs are 1 week or 4 weeks old; the first might hatch tomorrow or it could be 3 weeks; with chicks, you have a better idea of when they’ll fledge. Both boxes today had 5 chicks but the smallest were too young to ring and I can ring these broods when I get back. One box had a cache of about 10 prey items, showing that there’s plenty of food available.
The Barn Owl Marquee with Misty the Barn Owl will be at the Bingham Town Fair on Saturday.
I’m away on holiday from this weekend until 7th July so
this will be the last post until then!!