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...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Barn Owlets have Fledged

Only four owlets from the original nine eggs survived to fledging. One large baby we found dead on the loft floor on May 5th of unknown causes. The others simply disappeared. Apparently, there was not enough food for nine youngsters and the littlest became food for the biggest.

April 20

April 28

May 6. Although not visible, I did see a fourth head lift up while I was watching that night. So there were four babies. This was the day after a 5th owl had appeared under the nest on the loft floor, dead.

Alas, life got busy and I did not take my camera up again after they started getting feathers. The only photo I have of a feathered owlet is the one taken at night on June 6 from outside looking up at the owlet standing in the loft window. I watched that owl for fifteen minutes before a parent appeared with food.

These poor babies had to put up with an enormous amount of noise when we were putting hay into the loft June 6 and 7.  But none deserted the nest early as a result. By June 12, two had left the nest and were begging nightly from an oak tree next to Johnny's shop. This morning, June 17, was the first day there were no owlets in the nest box. Last night there were at least three begging owlets in the oak tree and an adult making frequent feeding trips into the tree.

And so another season of Barn Owl nesting has passed. I wonder if they'll nest again this summer, after the youngsters are off feeding themselves. I'll be watching for eggs to appear in the loft nest.