After asking for suggestions of names for our tawny owlet, I was flooded with loads of amazing suggestions. DJ (the owner of Yew View) and I chose Nyx, as this is the Greek Goddess of the night. We felt it was appropriate. It is impossible to tell whether it is actually a male or female, but I'm going to imagine her as a female!
As you can imagine, the volume of footage I record is pretty phenomenal. Luckily, as I can now access the live stream from home (thanks to an improved broadband connection). I can watch the cam whenever I am working from my desk and I can also lift footage. This takes the pressure off considerably when I am actually onsite and I can get on with outside work rather than looking through all the recordings.
It is so hard to choose what footage to lift and save, but these represent highlights from the week that showcase behaviour and interactions. They also aim to show the daily changes in Nyx who is growing incredibly fast! This is the first year we have ever had a single owlet. Usually there are 2, 3 or 4 all fighting over food and less food means they grow a lot more slowly. Nyx is going to be a monster tawny!
Aluco still stays in the box during the day. Nyx is small enough to be brooded although she often peeps out. Aluco is a very attentive parent and it is wonderful to watch her care for this new owlet.
This week, we saw Nyx's eyes open. She is becoming more attentive and active. At the start of the week, there was a stash of food in the box. She now devours everything that is brought in!
Her appetite continues to grow and it is truly amazing when you see such a small owlet swallow virtually a whole mouse.... in one go!!
I lifted some stills from the sequence!
You can start to see the feathers beginning to appear now. Over the next few weeks, these will gradually replace the downy white fluff.
Aluco keeps the nest area clean by eating any faeces. She also carefully picks up and eat any tiny bits of remnant food that may attract flies.
Growing fast, Nyx must get quite cramped under Aluco, so a daily stretch is in order!
Strix has been supplying a steady stream of mainly wood mice. In the early evening, Nyx is often very hungry and these meals do not last long. On this occasion, there had been quite a lot of food brought in and Nyx was not that hungry. Aluco seemed determined to feed her this mouse and this has been one of the most lovely clips I have lifted, with both facing the camera and in full colour!
With longer days, Aluco is now starting to leave the box when it is still light. This means we get a good look at Nyx in full colour. She is much more attentive now and is beginning to move around the nest box, albeit in a rather wobbly fashion!
For those watching my live cameras, you will have not seen much of Strix. You sometimes see him briefly if he comes into the nest box at night to drop off food.
After all the terrible flooding we had early in the year, half of Yew View had been under flood water. This meant that we lost power to the river end of the site. We have a second box down there, that the owls often use as a roost home. When the electrics were repaired and this camera came back on, I was delighted to see Strix enjoying the river view veranda! Sadly, the internal camera has not come back on and, with Strix using the box, I have been unable to investigate why this might be.
I lifted a couple of clips from this box, which we call Owl Mansion!
The veranda gets the early morning sun and, as it is a quiet part pf the garden, he will often sit out there ins broad daylight. You can see how pale his facial disc is , compared to Aluco. This has made him quite easy to recognise. He is also a little smaller than her.
The nest few weeks are going to be great for viewing. As Nyx gets bigger, we will see more of her. In previous years, the female has left the owlets alone during the day when they get to about 4 weeks old. I am wondering if the same will happen with just a singleton.
Keep watching the cams and, if you see anything interesting happening, just make a note of the date and time and share it with me, in case I miss it!
I lifted some stills from the footage this week... these are some of my favourites....