01 July 2021
And so it starts . . . she’s in the box
Early this morning I climbed the ladder to check on the nest box, and the female was inside. Initially she was standing and looking around, but when I came back with the camera she had settled. It is too early for her to have laid but there are two interesting things about this update – the first is that I’ve not yet heard any evidence of the male trying to entice the female into the box, and I’ve not actually seen any courtship-feeding. Last season, with her long-established mate, there was a period of over a week that I could hear the male moving in the box and giving his cooing “ho ho ho ho . . .” enticement calls every evening before she settled in the box. Seems as though the new young male is unaware of this step – but at least it looks like the female knows what to do!
The second thing is that the female is in the box 28 days earlier than last season – making this the second earliest that the Delta Owls have started nesting.
But wait, there’s more
The female has just left the nest and is sitting on the parapet near the Tea Garden so I’ve just dashed up to check the nest – and there is a single egg nestled down into the river sand. There was nothing this morning so she must have laid sometime during the day.
By Geoff Lockwood