The camera feed problem has now been resolved and we are back online. It is inevitable, given the the distance of the camera from the exchange and the condition of the telephone wiring together with the complexity of the installation that the feed will go offline occasionally.
The feed will only be discontinued when the nest box has been vacated. Do please remember that this free service is provided by the Trust as part of its charitable objectives and we do not monitor the feed 24/7.
We are currently experiencing camera feed problems. We are working on the problem and hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Please bear with us.
The oldest chick is now seven and a half weeks old. There will be occasions in the next few weeks when they will leave the nest chamber to look at the outside world. They won’t venture outside the confines of the tunnel connecting the entrance hole to the nest.
The recent settled weather has meant a good supply of voles has been brought into the nest chamber by the adults. The chicks look very healthy and they are already half way to fledging.
Occasionally the female will be seen with the chicks during daylight hours but she doesn’t stop for long as the owlets beg for food with their familiar loud hissing.
Yesterday she was in the box for most of the day because the chicks had been well fed on Wednesday night.
They don’t need brooding now but on these colder mornings they huddle together for mutual warmth.
We have had more than 2.5 inches of rain in the past eight days (with more forecast) and it has been difficult for the adult barn owls to hunt. However, enough food has been brought in to fulfil the chicks’ needs. The owlets don’t use much energy when they huddle together in these conditions. They can maintain their own body warmth without being brooded by the female.They can manage with just the minimum amount of food until the better weather arrives. It is normal not to see the adults in the nest chamber.
Please understand that the Trust merely provides the Owl Tower and camera feed as part of its charitable and educational objectives and is not licenced to interfere in any way. The Trust is advised at all times by our long time experienced owl specialists who are registered under the The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and who monitor the happenings in the Tower constantly. We will never intervene as these are wild creatures and nature must take its course.
Last night there was a break in the weather and the adult owls were busy catching voles.
Barn owls are the only birds with feathers that are not waterproof and so they try not to hunt in the rain.
This morning the chicks look well fed and settled.
Unfortunately the female is very wet as can be seen from today’s screenshot.
Voles live in dense tussocky grass which gets very wet when it rains and the owls have to dive into this to catch their prey..
She will slowly dry out in the nest box ready for tonight’s hunting. The male will be in a similar condition roosting nearby.
Unfortunately, but not totally unexpected, we do seem to have lost the smallest chick overnight.
Concerns were raised yesterday that the parent owls seemed to have deserted the chicks. Happily, this is incorrect as the screenshot taken this morning shows.
Do please remember that we are watching Nature in the wild and raw and that the law of the survival of the fittest does applies. The Trust merely provides the camera as part of its charitable objects for public benefit. Owls are protected species by law (Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981) and accordingly we cannot interfere. We do have the benefit of a very experienced licensed Barn Owl specialist who advises us and monitors the camera at various times during the day and only he can decide if any actions are required.
This camera, along with others throughout the country is helping to bring a greater understanding of the life of these wonderful birds – “Warts and All” !