The owl files – Chapter 2: Doing things differently

04 November 2021

Doing things differently

For the past few days I’ve only been seeing the male and a single chick so yesterday evening I decided to try and confirm if the second chick was still around.

The two owls – the male, plus a chick, were in the Monkey Thorn next to the ramp at the back of the Centre, but neither was in any hurry to move off. Eventually, the chick flew down onto the roof – disappearing behind the fascia. Reassuringly however, it had not begun begging before it flew down.

I hung around – hoping that it would reappear but, after twenty minutes of no-show, I began to wonder if the chick might not have flown down to join its sibling. Back to the flat, .  .  .   out onto the roof, and then round to the back. And there they were .  .  . perched together under the overhang of the function room. Both were preening, and neither had started their wheezy begging calls. Great news, because this means that both youngsters had fed well the previous evening and that the problems of finding enough food seem to have eased.

I’ve just popped out onto the roof to check on the owls and found the ‘missing’ chick in the same place as it was yesterday evening. Its sibling was still on the parapet almost hidden by the foliage of the Monkey Thorn – and neither chick was begging!!!

At this stage in previous seasons the female had brought the whole family to the lower roof next to the car park and I could check on them from the kitchen window each morning. Unfortunately she disappeared before this could happen this year – so she hadn’t ‘shown the male the ropes’ and the spot that he has chosen makes monitoring a lot more difficult. He certainly has been thrown into the deep end in his first breeding season – but things are looking good for now.

By Geoff Lockwood

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