28 October 2021
With the still-unexplained disappearance of the female and one of the chicks, the daily headcount has become extremely stressful – particularly when I don’t find one or more of the owls. The two remaining chicks have recently often been roosting together, and they have regularly indulged in extended bouts of allo-preening – all good! For the past two days however I could only find one chick – and I had begun to fear the worst!
Early this morning I could hear the male calling from the Tea Garden. There were also the wheezy begging calls of a chick coming from the corner of the back roof – but it sounded like one chick, and still only one was visible. Later, I was planning a park-wide search when I looked out the study window, and there the two chicks were – perched together in a River Bushwillow in the Tea Garden. I could relax – at least for now!
Just for interest, the chick stretching its wings seems to be taking after dad – showing a much richer, more rufous colouration than its sibling.
By Geoff Lockwood