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A Special Glimpse!

Tuesday, December 15th 2020

The Foxglove bird ringers monitor over 100 large nest boxes. This year, a camera was placed inside one of the Tawny Owl nest boxes for a two week period. The resulting pictures are really special because Tawny Owls are strictly nocturnal and rarely seen during the daytime unless they are disturbed.

With Tawny Owls, incubation starts with the first egg, leading to asynchronous hatching – a clever plan which increases the survival of at least some chicks if food is scarce. In this box there were two healthy owlets and you can see from their size that they are slightly different ages due to the hatching strategy. The photographs were taken in the middle of May when the chicks were around 4 weeks old.

The pictures captured moments that show the close bond between the adult and chicks such as at feeding times.

 The adults could also be seen preening their young.

The pair of chicks seemed to be well fed and content. They were both ringed and managed to fledge successfully.

The ringers received an email from the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) today reporting that one of the Barn Owls that was ringed as a chick earlier in the year had been found injured in the road. It was cared for and then when fit and strong enough, it was released back into the wild. Another happy ending!

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