Thursday, July 16, 2015

Texas Barn Owls

I have become addicted to a bird web cam. My drug of choice is the Texas barn owls available through Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
You can also follow them on Twitter (official)  and YouTube (there's official and viewer content).

When I first discovered the cam, early June, all four owlets were hatched. They all still had down, none had branched, and the youngest was very small and immature. As of a couple days ago all have fledged! I've learned so much and believe it is great family entertainment.

They still associate the nest with feeding so they hang around the vicinity of the nest box during their nightly fly arounds. Plus, they continue to roost there during the day. It's strange how a group of strangers have come together to cheer on both the small and large accomplishments of 4 little birds and to worry about them as well. This was probably helped by the fact that the youngest was a bit of a runt having had a lean start and no one was sure he was going to make it.

Here are some photos from Twitter (they are not all mine):

Their home

Sometimes it seems they know they are being watched

Huddled together sleeping

The day a female wood duck landed on the nest box and then snooped around. the owlets were on alert for the stranger!
Mid July when all had branch but the youngest had yet to fledge

Mid June waiting for someone to feed them


Neighborhood Muscovy

Broke Wing So, back in March a mama Muscovy showed up with 14 ducklings in the pond across the street. These ponds are retention pond...