A short blog is the aim tonight. Thanks to everyone for wishing me a speedy recovery from my second dose of ‘man-flu’ of the year, and thanks for the suggestions of a wee dram before bed!
It was very much a day of continuing the good work of yesterday. The joiners completed roof and mesh of the Brown Wood aviary and moved on to the African Wood Owl roof, while the team that had begun the work building the bird hide carried on with that project again today. The ground workers were in a hole digging mood today and asked for the precise locations where they were to dig in posts or dig holes for trees. We spent a fair bit of time going from pen to pen spray painting the spots we want them to put in tree perches or where actual trees should be planted. It felt good to be imagining what it would look like when finished again. In the Rainforest Realm we worked out where the eucalyptus would be planted for the Australian section and I quite enjoyed picturing in my mind how the birds would look in the completed aviaries.
In addition to the mystery structure in the photo, our Walk to the North Pole feature will include an actual ‘north pole’ so the exact location for that needed to be decided upon and marked with paint, ready for the ground workers to dig the pole in – probably tomorrow.
The good news on the owl collection side from me today is that the female Great Horned Owl is still sitting in the nest. In fact she has dug herself in so snug now only her head is visible over the front board of the nesting ledge! So that’s it then, serious egg laying mode. We can start the countdown to an estimated (hopeful) hatching date…. and that date is somewhere in the third week of March. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there were newly hatched owls for our opening? Well as the boss was saying today; ‘we don’t count our owls until they hatch’. Very true, but we can hope right?
So to wrap up this blog and get us all in the mood for baby owls, here’s a link to a webcam in a nestbox of a pair of American Barn Owls named Roy and Dale over in California. Just a day or two ago one of the eggs hatched and viewers were privileged to see a newly hatched owlet, which has been named Ellie. If you start watching now you may see the next egg hatching out! Today there has been what looks like a small hole in one of the eggs – known as a pipping hole. If this is what the mark on the eggshell is then the owlet inside is beginning to break it’s way out. My only warning is that it can be VERY addictive watching these owls!
So til tomorrow, gnite owl!