The owl files – Chapter 3: 13 days old . . . and going strong!

03 December 2022

13 days old .   .   .  and going strong!

I’ve been checking in on the nest box every day to see if the chick has been getting enough food and since my last update on 30 November, there has been no sign of food remains in the nest. Yesterday however, there were two wing feathers of what looked like a Cape White-eye in the nest. Although I haven’t been seeing food on these visits, the chick has continued to grow, and has been dozing – typically a sign that it has had a good meal recently!

This morning when I climbed over the wall to the nest, the female was eyeing me intently through the gap between the roof and the wall of the box – no hissing or bill-clicking. She then swooped down to the Tea Garden, and I could check on the chick. It is developing well, and there were the remains of a small Vlei Rat and a Multimammate Mouse with the remaining two unhatched eggs in the nest with it. As I was climbing back over the wall, the female flew back and sat just below me – making sure that I was leaving?

I’ve not seen the original chicks since the second disappeared last Monday and it seems that the ties between them and the male may have been cut by the hatching of the new chick. I keep hoping to find them when walking out in the park – but nothing yet!

By Geoff Lockwood