Aluco has spent another week incubating in the nest box. We are just over half way through the incubation period. She leaves the nest box for under an hour in every 24 hrs, for a whole month, relying totally on Strix, the male, to feed her.
I log all the food items delivered and, on average she gets only one mouse or vole every 24 hrs, sometimes supplemented with other species. Worms have appeared quite a lot this week and she never seems very impressed with those, especially when she is expecting a full meal, rather than a small starter!
I have recorded lots of different bird species being caught by the tawnies, over the years. This Wren is the first bird for this season.
It takes a long time to look through the week's footage but it is worth doing it as I never know what might have happened during the week. The three cameras give me the chance to see the scene from different angles. Sometimes you capture something pretty special!
All week, the stock doves have been spending time around the box. They are keen to get in. They spend time on the platform cooing and displaying and looking into the box. I am not convinced they can see her very well, when she stays still, so sometimes I actually think they are going to get in there with her! This pair had spent about 20 minutes right outside. Aluco is not particularly disturbed by these birds. She knows they do not offer any threat to her. Her reaction is different when the squirrel looks in.
One stock dove kept looking in, teetering on the edge. Suddenly, Aluco leapt up to the entrance, taking the dove by surprise! She grabbed it with her talons. Struggling violently, the two thrashed about for several seconds, with feathers flying everywhere, before they tumbled off of the platform and out of sight!
This clip shows three camera angles, with the audio from the entrance cam running through the whole clip. At the end, the clip is repeated, in slow motion. The dove was definitely injured, but I do not know if it survived the attack. It was not found in the garden, so may be it had a lucky escape.
A surprising attack... I am not sure if she was just fed up with them there or she really considered this bird as a meal! They would not usually attack a bird as large as this for a meal....