For anyone who has been following my tweets about my Tawny Owl, you will know that she has been incubating a single egg. The 30 days incubation period has come and gone. That egg, sadly, must be infertile or had not developed for some reason. Of course, she does not know that and she will have little idea of how long she has sat in that nest box. Leaving for only 15 minutes every 24 hours, this poor Tawny has sat static for over 5 weeks…. all for nothing. I am hoping she gives up soon, so she can get back out, stretch her wings and enjoy the rest of the year hunting the bridle paths around my home.
The male has been pretty good, bringing her anywhere between 1 – 3 meals a night. Only occasionally, in the early days has he not delivered. Sadly, issues with audio mean these clips have no sound.
May be this is their first year of breeding. The female broke the first egg and, on leaping up to receive food at night, there have been occasions where she has sent the egg rolling; surely not good in the early stages of embryo development.
The Jackdaws in my patch are pretty prevalent here and they nested in this box last year. They are not happy she is still in there. Up until the last few days, they have generally left her alone. I think they can sense she is weakening now and today they have been tormenting her, bringing in twigs through the entrance hole whilst she is sitting in there. On the whole, she has remained very calm, showing little reaction. This has meant that the jackdaws are somewhat unsure of her. If she rose to challenge them, it would give them the excuse to attack, I think.
As the day has progressed, they have got bolder and bolder. They have pushed twigs inside the box and then attempted to push her to react; sometimes attempting to peck her when she turned to preen and even getting in the box at one point.
I don’t think it will be long before they drive her out of this box and maybe that is a good thing as she will be able to move on. I just hope she returns next year. By then I will have prepared the box for her return… an HD camera and a better nesting space for her!
It will be interesting to see how things pan out over the next few days… I just hope the battle does not become too fierce.. she must be pretty weak and out of condition by now. I wish there was a way I could help her get out safely… I just hope she makes the decision one night, to leave her confinement and build up strength for next year’s family!