Fink Family Farm Bird List

Fink Family Farm Bird List

The only list I faithfully keep is a list of all the birds seen on our farm since we moved here in 1977. I thought it would be fun to ad...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nine Barn Owl Eggs!

Nine eggs is definitely a new record for the Fink Family Farm Barn Owls. Here is the update I sent to my Barn Owl fledging notification email list tonight:

"This is definitely a new record for the Fink Family Farm barn owls. The most they've had in the past was 7 eggs. Most clutches over the years have been 6 or 7 eggs. But the voles are plentiful this year and that must have something to do with their faith that they can raise more babies... or else the more food they eat, the more eggs they lay. Or something.

I know there are lots of voles still out there because today, while I was taking a break from planting more trees in the arboretum, a vole worked at cleaning out its hole not far from me. Cheeky little brat.

This is the first time I've seen the owl fly out of the nest box since my last update. I confess I shone my spotlight up on the ledge tonight (not into the box) for a second and she fled. I was concerned that she had deserted the nest since Johnny has been working diligently with a chainsaw and lots of noise right outside her window for weeks (still tearing down the old barn). So I shone the light for a second in case that would get her off the nest, if she were there, long enough for me to scurry up the ladder and fire off one quick and blurry photo. And it worked. But I'll bet she's annoyed with me. She did not scream over my head as I left the barn, though, which always happens when I sneak up to peak at owlets after the mama no longer stays with them at night. So I suspect she was back on the nest before I was out of the barn.

I was also concerned because last night, after many nights of none or few barn owl calls at night, there were many screeches and hisses from several different directions and I wondered if a predator was in the vicinity. None can get into the loft (unless they can fly) but the owls would not know that. Our livestock guardian dog did tear after something by the creek last night so there well could have been a raccoon or two or three prowling which might concern the owls since coons can certainly climb trees and enter nest cavities. But even a raccoon would be hard pressed to reach and open our barn doors... or get past our livestock guardian dog.

I will not check again until I suspect, by a parent flying in at night with food and then back out again, that some eggs have hatched. Or, more likely, when I hear the little begging calls the owlets make... or their dragon hisses when I go up into the loft to throw hay down for the goats."

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