It’s time to say goodbye to our owl family

Our four owlets are now nearly twelve weeks old and flying well.

Soon they will be driven from the area by the parent birds, a strategy designed to prevent inbreeding.

The male and female will stay in the vicinity of their nest throughout the months to come.

It has been a successful season in the owl tower and although Barn owls generally have not had the best of years in the south of Lincolnshire, our family have happily bucked the trend.

The camera will be switched off at the end of this month for seasonal maintenance. We are hoping to improve the picture quality for the next season.

Please join us again then.

Our owl chicks have been ringed.

The four owlets were ringed by our licensed ringers on Friday morning.

There were three males and one female. The eldest was seven weeks old. We would like to have checked the ring on the adult female bird but she was roosting away from the tower.

The chicks were very healthy and will very soon be taking their first tentative flights. We shall only see them on camera occasionally from now on as they will sit in the entrance tunnel to the nest chamber just out of sight.

Our eldest owlet is six weeks old.

All four chicks are thriving.

The weather has been relatively kind so the adults have been able to catch lots of voles and mice.

The harvest is in full swing so there is a glut of small rodents.

The youngsters will soon be venturing out of the camera’s view occasionally, but they won’t leave the nest site yet.

We now have four chicks left

Sometime in the past week we have lost a chick.

It is quite common in broods of barn owls for this to happen.

Interestingly it was not the youngest which disappeared but one from the middle of the brood.

The eldest chick will be four weeks old this week.

They are growing fast.

Our family can survive this heatwave!

The weather has been very hot for several days. The female has no need to brood her five chicks. They are spread out so as to avoid the warm bodies of their siblings.

The barn owl is one of the most widely distributed birds on the planet. They are found in every continent except Antartica,so they are well used to extremes of heat and cold. Nevertheless, like many humans, they will be glad of a more acceptable temperature.

The corn is ripening and the combines will be out soon. This will lead to a glut in mice which will benefit our owls.

Our barn owl family is complete

At 7.35am today the fifth egg hatched.

There is a mountain of prey beside the female so the chicks won’t go hungry.

Things will be quiet for a few days, but once the chicks open their eyes they will become more active.

They are totally dependent on the hen bird to brood them as they can’t regulate their own body heat yet.