The owl files – Chapter 4: And then there were two . . .

17 November 2023

And then there were two .   .   .

After the events on early Tuesday morning, I’ve been trying to check on the chicks, and also trying to find evidence of what exactly happened.

Initially, I could only find a single chick  – at the back of the Gold Fields roof, but finally on Wednesday evening, the chattering of the bulbuls alerted me to the presence of another chick in the trees to the north of the Tea Garden. On Thursday, one of the chicks was in the Tea Garden, and the other was on a window ledge nearby. This morning, the two were together again in one of the River Bushwillows in the Tea Garden – the first time they have roosted together since Monday.

I have still not come across any signs of the third chick, but given the sounds on Tuesday morning, and also the subsequent scattering of the chicks, it seems likely that the missing chick was predated – by either a Large-spotted Genet, or possibly a feral cat. It is puzzling though that I have found no signs of a struggle,  .   .   . no feathers, and no remains of the missing chick.

By Geoff Lockwood