The owl files – Chapter 3: Still no chicks!

19 July 2022

Still no chicks!

Checked on the nest again yesterday evening and the female was incubating. Later, after she had left the nest, I climbed over and checked the eggs. All three eggs were warm – but still no sign of any pipping!

For information, when a chick starts to hatch out of an egg, it pushes the egg tooth (a hard ‘bump’ on the top of the bill tip) against the inside of the eggshell. The shell cracks outwards (like a miniature volcano). This is called pipping.

The chick repeats the process all the way around the ‘equator’ of the egg until the two halves break apart. This process can take more than 24 hours to complete.

Female owl in nest box
Female owl in nest box

By Geoff Lockwood