The owl files – Chapter 2: Changing . . . .

25 October 2021

Changing . . . .

The male and the two remaining chicks continue to hang around the Centre, roosting either in the Elm, the Monkey Thorn growing next to the ramp at the back of the building, or in the Tea Garden. Food availability seems to fluctuate – with the chicks’ hungry some evenings, and then apparently seeming well-fed the next.

They are rapidly moulting into their adult plumage at the moment – replacing the fluffy down that covers their heads and bodies with typical adult feathering. This is particularly noticeable on their underparts where the finely-barred feathers that are characteristic of the adults are more evident each day. The process usually takes several weeks, with the feathers of the ear-tufts being the last to appear.

By Geoff Lockwood

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