The owl files – Chapter 3: We have lift-off (for one chick)

04 September 2022

We have lift-off (for one chick)

We left very early this morning to re-visit the farm Kuilfontein in search of Cape Eagle-Owls. Thirty years ago, I was monitoring three different nesting pairs of these spectacular owls in the area – but unfortunately we came up empty today.

When Cyn and I got back to the Centre, both the female and the male were missing from their respective roosts and, when I went searching, I found the female in the trees behind the Centre. She was really skittish, flushing frequently – all pointing to there being at least chick down on the ground somewhere. I made a brief search, planning to come back later in the evening to search more thoroughly but then Raptor J (a.k.a Jacques Jordaan) who was there to video the owls came across to let me know that he had found the chick in one of the Rhus lancea’s. The male was in close attendance, and the chick was perched high up – so all good so far.

There was still no sign of the second chick so it was back up to the tower .   .   . up the ladder, and there was the second chick in the back of the box. The next few days will be tense!

By Geoff Lockwood