The owl files – Chapter 3: A very busy morning !!!!

30 August 2022

A very busy morning!!!!

When I took my coffee up onto the roof just after 06:00 this morning I could hear soft sounds coming from the nest box. Up the ladder .  .  . and the female was sitting next to the box, surrounded by six Pied Crows. The crows scattered, but continued to fly around close to the nest cawing loudly so I stayed up on the ladder until they finally drifted off. The female then swooped off to her spot in the Tea Garden, and I climbed out onto the lower roof to photograph her dozing,

Fifteen minutes later, the crows were back, and the female was again standing guard next to the nest and protecting the chicks sheltering under the box. More chasing and bad language, .  .  . the crows left .  .  . and the female again swooped down to the Tea Garden. This happened twice more and then, when I went down to meet the school group just after 08:30, I could see her facing off against three crows. She fearlessly stood her ground, even lunging forward when one of the crows came too close and I was in total awe of her commitment to protecting her young. What was puzzling however was the total lack of action from the male, particularly as last season, his first, he went so far as to roost on the step at the entrance of the nest to help protect his family?

Female owl in front of owl nest box facing off against 3 Pied Crows
Female owl in front of owl nest box facing off against 3 Pied Crows

By Geoff Lockwood