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A mixed diet for our growing owlets!

The Yew View owlets are growing at an amazing pace and it’s not surprising as there is quite a lot of prey coming in from the parents… sometimes not what you would expect! The female now no longer stays in the box during the day… not surprising as thy are becoming increasingly mobile and lively! The adults are now hunting all night to feed these youngsters , so need to rest up during the day… without being annoyed by two youngsters!

On the 20th, we managed to capture a frog being bought in. We have had a couple of frogs and it is interesting to think about where they might be hunting for frogs. Possibly in one of the ditches, where there is still a little water and it is not too deep….

Before the female finally gave up on spending days in the box, it was lovely to capture some daylight footage of the family. You can see how wriggly there are!

With all this food coming in and lots of it now being swallowed whole, the owlets are now bringing up pellets. Owls regurgitate the indigestible parts of their prey; the bones and fur. The female seemed to be breaking these up in this clip…

With the owlets now able to eat food whole, it becomes a bit of a feeding frenzy whenever an adult appears, as the food will go to the first owlet to get there! It is quite comical to watch, especially when the female sneaks past by jumping over both of them, leaving them at the doorway and her behind them! Their eyesight is obviously not that good yet!

The vast majority of the prey has been wood mice and voles, with a few slugs, worms and caterpillars this week as well. This next clip astounded me and I had to play it back several times, frame by frame to confirm. The female bought a FISH into the owlets!

There is an ornamental pond at Yew View and this has some Koi Carp and goldfish in it. I think the tawny may well bathe in it as it is a quite open site with very shallow water at the edges. I can only presume she managed to catch it there! Amazing to see! I have set a Bushnell there in the hope I can capture footage of her there.

We have also had footage of a gold crest and a tree creeper being brought into the box. This week, the female arrived with a male blackbird in the early hours….

Sometimes squirrels or other birds alight outside the box. This was the tawny’s reaction to a buzzard landing outside. The buzzard was not showing any interest  in the box, but the female was not taking any chances!

It is still quite a struggle to swallow the prey whole and funny to watch! Eating a mouse can end up with the tail dangling out of the beak. It is astounding that they can digest all of that …. and accommodate that much food in their stomachs…

The mobility of the owlets has improved dramatically and they now often sit right by the entrance, in front of the camera. Not always the best place for images, but if they move back a little bit, we get some lovely views of them!

They have even started to look out the box. This means we can see them on the PTZ camera that is positioned some way from the nest box.

I uploaded lots of screenshots this week and you can see all of these on the Flickr Account Album.

A selection are in this slideshow… it is so hard to decide what to lift and capture each week, but hopefully my chosen clips give you a good flavour of the week’s activity.

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