The owl files – Chapter 3: What on earth is she thinking ?????

14 September 2022

What on earth is she thinking ?????

Yesterday morning the female was in the nest box just after 06:00, but she later joined the male in the Elm – close to the chicks in one of the Karees. At 16:40 however I heard her calling from outside my study and, looking out the window, saw her perched  in one of her favourite ‘chilling spots’ on the lower roof. Worryingly, she had no view of the chicks out behind the Centre from her position – and they are still way too naive and inexperienced to be left to their own devices at this stage!!

This morning, she was on the step in front of the nest  .  .  .  and then climbed into the nest as I was looking at her. AND SHE HAS STAYED THERE ALL DAY. The male was in the Elm, but there was no sign of the chicks. I later discovered them further away from the Centre – together, but a long way from the parents! After last year’s ‘break’ from her maternal duties, I hope she isn’t thinking of something similar this year! Another concern is that the very early start to this breeding season, combined with the late start to the rains, means that many of the trees have yet to start sprouting new leaves – so the chicks are far too visible. Also, there are no insects around yet for the chicks to develop their hunting skills on. Scary times!

By Geoff Lockwood