The owl files – Chapter 3: Same as last year ???

19 June 2022

Same as last year ???

I’ve been checking on the female regularly since she moved into the nest. During the days she has been sitting tight in the nest – despite the intermittent attention of about 12 Pied Crows, and it has been impossible to see the nest contents. She’s been leaving the nest at around 17:50 each evening however and sitting on the back parapet of the lower roof – giving me a chance to check on progress.

This evening when I looked, there was still only a single egg – three full days after I first recorded it! In the past, females have laid eggs every 24 hours until the clutch (usually 3 eggs) was completed – so we may be heading for a smaller brood this season.

Last year there was also a delay between successive eggs – although she finally did lay three, and I’m starting to think the female may either be getting past it (breeding), or may have something wrong with her.

This is her 14th season in the park – so given that the first female that I worked with in Delta Park was around, and breeding, for 24 years, the current female’s age shouldn’t be a problem. I am not sure however just how old she was when she replaced the previous female – so more anxious times!

Female owl on roof  19062022
Female owl on roof

By Geoff Lockwood