Whooooo is visiting our house? OWLS! (An Ongoing Set of Videos and Photos – check back every few days to see the new video that will be added to the end)
We are so excited to announce that a mating pair of Barn Owls has moved in to our Owl House!
Our Owl House (lovingly built by my hubby!) has been vacant for 6 years…but a couple has moved in!
Meet Winston and Clementine
They began dating after the male found our house and decided it would be perfect to raise a family in.
They found each other using the owl version of Match.com. (That involves screeching until they found each other!)
After a few dates of flying in circles and screeching at the top of their lungs ALL NIGHT LONG,
**and I’m not kidding you, it’s not a gentle ‘whoo whoo’ like you see in cartoons, it’s a Full-on SCREECH!
Well then the male owl brought some nice yummy rats into the house and carefully stacked them in the corner (he rearranged them often to make sure they
looked fresh and appetizing….)
And then the female came over to check out the snacks and to see if the house he bought was fit for her and her future kids.
Video Compilation Chapter 1:
Here’s the wikipedia version if you want more facts:
Once a pair-bond has been formed, the male will make short flights at dusk around the nesting and roosting sites and then longer circuits to establish a home range.
When he is later joined by the female, there is much chasing, turning and twisting in flight, and frequent screeches, the male’s being high-pitched and tremulous and the female’s lower and harsher.
At later stages of courtship, the male emerges at dusk, climbs high into the sky and then swoops back to the vicinity of the female at speed.
He then sets off to forage.
The female meanwhile sits in an eminent position and preens, returning to the nest a minute or two before the male arrives with food for her.
Such feeding behaviour of the female by the male is common, helps build the pair-bond and increases the female’s fitness before egg-laying commences.
On average males tend to have fewer spots on the underside and are paler in colour than females….we are having a hard time telling which is Winston and which is Clementine…
We guess they were happy because ca-noodling soon began.
(Sidenote – it’s not romantic in anyway, so be ready to shield your eyes – and you’ll see some of their adventure in the videos but
I’ll let you know it happens almost hourly – and we are a week or so in and it’s still going on!
Each night they are triggering our motion camera about ONE HUNDRED TIMES.
So I’m compiling the more interesting clips into combined video shows – so each “Chapter” represents 10-20 clips strung together.
You might notice that some of our videos are in color – those were captured during the day. The camera’s night vision is in black and white.
Fact for the day: The barn owl is nocturnal and specialises in hunting animals on the ground and nearly all of their food consists of small mammals which they locate by sound, their hearing being very acute.
Fact for the day: They usually mate for life unless one of the pair is killed, when a new pair bond may be formed.
Video Chapter 5
Canoodling and Cuddling
Video Chapter 6
Pecking at the camera….and more…
If you keep checking back, every few days I will add one more chapter to this blog. That will keep you up to date on what’s happening with Winston and Clementine!
Video Chapter 7 —
All of these video clips are in color since the owls stayed in their owl house all day.
(Usually they leave at 5:00am and don’t return until 8:00pm)
Chapter 8 — SNACKTIME!
Chapter 9 – EAT!
Chapter 10 – the first egg arrives!
Barn Owls begin incubation as soon as the first egg is laid and lay additional eggs over a period of around 8-21 days.
After 31-32 days’ incubation, the eggs hatch every 2-3 days, usually in the order they were laid.
This is termed “asynchronous” hatching.
Here’s a few screenshots of mama taking care of her egg….keep scrolling for the video
Chapter 11 – TWO EGGS!
Chapter 12 – And then there were SIX
Chapter 13 – Clementine eats a rat…yum!
By the way….I can photograph YOUR FAMILY TOO.
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