24 July 2022
A major milestone . . . better late than never!
Just before 06:00 this morning, I heard the male’s soft hooting ‘food delivery’ call coming from the corner above the nest and, when I checked the nest later, I could see the haunches and tail of a small (dead) mouse sticking out from below the breast feathers of the female!
The significance of this sighting is exciting! During incubation the female NEVER brings food into the nest box. Rather, she is called out of the box to accept the food brought by the male and she then eats it away from the nest. She also regurgitates the pellets from her previous meals whilst away from the nest. Food in the nest this morning therefore means that the pipped egg that I recorded yesterday evening has already hatched, or is well on the way to doing so . . . and the female has food cached to feed it!
By Geoff Lockwood