The owl files – Chapter 3: Anxious time

03 September 2022

Anxious time

The chicks are now around 40 days old and have reached that stage where they are becoming more active  .  .  . and adventurous. This morning I noticed that the female was still perched in ‘her’ tree in the Tea Garden and, when I checked the nest, there seemed to be only one chick in the nest. I went out onto the lower roof to check whether the missing chick was on the roof below the box, or possibly under the overhang at the back of the nest box – but still no sign. I began to search likely places on the lower roof .  .  . and soon found the chick sheltering behind a drain pipe under the Function Room roof overhang. It was out of the sun and well-hidden – so I decided to leave it where it was and just keep an eye on it to make sure that all stays OK.

Both chicks will probably fledge sometime during the coming week and as the parents know where the chick is hiding and will continue to feed it, there is no need to intervene at this stage. The next few weeks until the chicks are flying strongly and have learnt to avoid dogs or other predators are always really tense though.

By Geoff Lockwood