It was a quiet day at the Scottish Owl Centre today, with just a few intrepid souls and season ticket holders dropping by to visit the owls. I of course still had plenty to keep me busy though.
Starting with my usual rounds to check the birds are all okay, I found that our unwell Long-eared Owl had eaten all of the food I had left for her overnight. I moved her outdoors to an aviary but left her inside the ‘pet carrier’ with the door open. I cut some food up for her and placed it inside the box. Her condition hasn’t really changed in the last 24 hours, but it hasn’t improved either. We’ll see how she fares through another 24 hours.
With the centre so quiet it was a good time to see the owls relaxed and moving about. I was intrigued to see that the Barred Owls had swapped perches, with the male now sitting on the female’s favourite place and the female sitting beside the nest shelf. I wandered by on occasion through the day and saw them both using different perches each time. Maybe there is more interaction between them, along with the hooting at night, that might give hope of them breeding? This might be too much to ask, with them only having met at the beginning of March. I can dream though.
On my wanderings I also noticed that one of the Little Owls was inside the nest box each time I passed. I heard them call once too. Another one to watch over the next few days.
Our pair of Ashy Faced Owls may be the next to breed though. The female is sitting rather than standing in the nest box most of the day now, and I heard them calling to each other a minute or two after feeding them this afternoon, likely the male passing food to his mate. These are the parents of Prince in our trained owl team and have been good breeders in previous years. Their open fronted nestbox is different from ones I’ve previously seen this species use, so it will be interesting if they do breed; their owlets would be viewable from outside the pen once they grow big enough. Another one to watch and hope for!
Overall then there are a lot of hopes and dreams for the owls to breed this year. Tomorrow marks the first estimated date for hatching eggs in the Ural Owl nest. Fingers are crossed and I’ll let you know if I see any signs.
Okay so I’m signing off early tonight, need to get some rest. ‘Til tomorrow then, goodnight.