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Rpbert E Fuller Wildlife Artist Blog
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Latest from the Barn Owl Cam

Welcome to my barn owl nest cam.

The barn owl babies are growing fast, scroll down to see a selection of ‘firsts’ as I record their first meals, first flights & first friends. Don’t forget to keep checking in to see the latest news and follow the story of this barn owl family.


July 16th 2018

First baby barn owl to fledge

Baby barn owls at 8 weeks old

Watch the first baby barn owlet to fledge the nest in this clip. These two are the chicks I rescued and introduced to this wild barn owl nest. The owlet on the right is the oldest of the brood. It stands looking out of the entrance of the nest for some time and then all of a sudden it spreads its wings and flies. I haven’t seen it since. The second owlet, on the left as you look at this clip, also flies for the first time. But my cameras caught it returning to the nest later that day. Tragicall one of the fostered owlets died today. I noticed that it was very underweight and although I supplied plenty of food to supplement their diets it was so sad to see this foster chick not make it.


July 11th 2018

Baby barn owl looks out in daylight

Baby Barn Owls at 7 Weeks Old

The owlets are getting bigger by the day. Watch this one fly to the entrance to the tree nest in the middle of the day. I’ve seen it looking out at night but this is the first time the cameras have captured it exploring like this during the day.

July 8th 2018

Baby barn owls first look out of the nest

Baby Barn Owls at 7 Weeks Old

Just look at these adorable owls as they see the big wide world for the first time. The first owl has only just learned to fly. Watch as it is joined by its sibling to stand at the entrance to the tree nest. This clip is quite long as I thought you would enjoy just watching these owlets as they marvel at the world about them. Watch them bob their heads. Right at the end the chick on the right almost turns its head 180 degrees!

July 8th 2018

Ouch! Watch this tawny owl knock a barn owl right off its perch!

Baby Barn Owls at 7 Weeks Old

Woah! Watch this tawny owl take out a barn owl! The barn owl is perched on a post I placed in the garden for owls, quietly eating its prey. Watch its eyes swivel up when it first notices the tawny approaching. But there is no time to get out of the way before, bam, the tawny knocks the barn owl clean off its perch. Keep watching to see another barn owl swoop down as if to dive bomb the tawny. But the aggressive tawny stands its ground. It returns to the post but somehow in the melee the prey was either dropped and fell to the ground or the barn owl hung on to it – let’s hope so!

July 9th 2018

One baby barn owl’s first flight

Baby barn owls at 6 weeks old

This barn owlet is preparing itself for flight. Watch it attempt to scale the wall of the nest box. It fails, but its all good practise. Notice how this one – one of the fostered chicks – has almost all its feathers now – bar a little bit of fluff on its back!

July 5th, 2018

One baby barn owl can’t sleep

Baby barn owls at 5 weeks old

Watch this funny clip of the barn owls all huddled together asleep – except for one. Look at it as it bobs its head up and down – is it watching that fly in the nest? Eventually it wakes up the smallest owl lying beneath it – watch the clip to the end to see this young one’s wide-eyed expression after getting bumped on the head by its insomniac sibling!

 10pm, July 5th 2018

The foster barn owl babies mob dad

Baby barn owls at 5 weeks old

Look what happens when dad returns to the nest for the first time since I placed 4 foster chicks into the nest! The male owl would normally bring food but for some reason he hasn’t any this visit. All 4 chicks know that an adult would be caring for them and almost mob him as he enters the nest. He is so surprised he flies straight out again – a touch ruffled by all the demands! The chicks call loudly after him. Keep watching to see my original two chicks, they look like such babies in comparison. Totally surprised by all the noise!

July 5th 2018

Baby barn owls make friends

Baby barn owls at 5 weeks old

The barn owlets have made friends with their new foster siblings! Watch this cute clip of them interacting. Look at the one in the middle rotating its head as the others doze. Keep watching to see it rub beaks with one of the foster chicks behind it. They have really settled down with each other and it’s only been a day since they were introduced.

July 4th 2018

The baby barn owls get four new foster siblings

Baby barn owls at 5 weeks old

Last week I was handed 4 rescued baby barn owlets. Thankfully owls can’t count because the rescued chick’s best chance of survival is to persuade wild birds to bring them up as their own.Watch as I pop these foster owlets one by one into the barn owl nest whilst the parent birds are away. The two natural chicks sit huddled at the back of the box throughout. Watch as the bemused owlets rush about the box in confusion. Notice how these foster chicks are a little older than the natural chicks, you can see that their feathers are beginning to come through. Four might seem a lot, but barn owls really can’t count and I always help by offering extra food to supplement their diet whilst they are feeding these chicks. Click here to read about how last year a pair of barn owls successfully fostered owlets.  This particular pair went on to raise a total of 7 owlets!

July 4th 2018

Baby barn owl’s first feathers

Baby barn owls at 5 weeks old

Look at the baby barn owls as they stretch. They have such long legs they can make themselves look so tall! Notice they are now developing feathers on their ‘trousers’. Keep watching to see them stretch their wings up. Again you can see their wing feathers coming through. Watch as the oldest owlet flops its wing over the younger chick – an owlet cuddle?

July 2nd 2018

Baby barn owls get a scare when a kestrel flies into their nest

Baby barn owls at 5 weeks old

The nail-biting moment when a kestrel flies right into a barn owl nest. My cameras captured the moment the kestrel perched on to the edge of the nest and looked in. See its wings and tail fan out as it realises there are two tiny owls in there – just the size of a kestrel snack. The clip switches to the inside camera to see the two chicks inside. Notice the older chick’s alarm as it spots the kestrel on the lip of the tree hole. Then see its expression of horror as the kestrel flies right in to the nest. See it press itself up against the back wall! Thankfully the kestrel flies out just as suddenly as it flew in. Watch the youngest of the baby owls look up at its older sibling for protection…

 

June 27th 2018

Barn Owl in the Mist

Baby barn owls at 4 weeks old

A sea mist rolled in over the Yorkshire Wolds one evening and the cameras captured this barn owl gliding ahead of the mist to perch on the kestrel’s feeding post.

June 25th 2018

This baby barn owl can now manage whole prey

Baby barn owls at 4 weeks old

Watch as this barn owlet swallow its meal whole. Watch to the end to see the smug look on its face when its finished. It looks so pleased with itself! Priceless

June 19th 2018

Baby barn owls standing independently

Baby barn owls at 4 weeks old

Watch the baby barn owls seemingly ‘grow’ as mum stands up. They are standing now independently – but not for long. Watch as they ‘yawn’. This gaping is actually a reflux these birds perform when they are hot.

June 15th 2018

Baby barn owls are getting a little big for brooding

Baby barn owls at 3 weeks old

Barn owls have incredibly long legs. Watch as the barn owl mum lifts hers, one by one, trying not to hurt the chicks beneath her with those vicious talons. The youngest chick is 15 days old and both are reluctant to settle quietly.

June 15th 2018

Baby barn owls now swalling their own prey

Baby barn owls at 3 weeks old

The owlets are now able to swallow their own prey. Watch this one down a vole as mum looks on patiently!

June 12th 2018

Baby barn owls’ first feeds

Baby barn owls at 3 weeks old

Watch this barn owl carefully feeding her chicks. The chicks are tucked under her breast and she is patiently feeding them tiny pieces. The youngest chick is just 12 days old.

June 12th 2018

Baby barn owls leaning on one another for support

Baby barn owls at 2 weeks old

Enjoy this rare glimpse of the baby barn owls as the female gets up for a stretch. She seems a little careless as she steps over the chicks with those long talons! She has been brooding them for hours and stands on one leg to bring back the circulation. The youngest owlet is just 12 days old now. interestingly they are still very dependent and are only just able to bear their own weight. Note how they lean against one another to support themselves.

June 10 2018

The male barn owl claims his conjugal visits even as the female broods

Baby barn owls at 2 weeks old

Despite the fact that the female barn owl is now brooding her new clutch of chicks, the male is still visiting the nest to mate. Here he flies in, unusually this time without the gift of a kill, mates the female as she sits on the chicks and then leaves.

June 10th

The biggest baby barn owl can now hold its head up

Baby barn owls at 2 weeks old

The barn owl chicks are slowly growing. The oldest chick is 10 days old and is just about able to hold its own head up. Sadly the third chick hasn’t made it this far. Enjoy this rare glimpse of the remaining two chicks as the adult female takes a moment to have a stretch.

June 6th 2018

A third baby barn owl is visible

Baby barn owls at 6 days old

My nest cameras picked up this glimpse of a third barn owl chick. It is now six days since the first chick hatched but it has been very difficult to see the chicks clearly until now. And even so you can only just see the heap of chicks moving at the back of the nest. Barn owl eggs usually hatch at an interval of two days and this was the case for the first two but the female has been brooding her clutch tightly and it has been impossible to see this last one until now. But here she takes a break from the nest and you can clearly see there is a third chick! They are still very helpless and cannot support their own weight.

June 1st 2018

A second baby barn owl hatches

Baby barn owl at 2 days old

I now have two baby barn owls in my nest box! Watch as the second egg cracks open and the adult female draws the shell out from underneath her. She pecks out and eats the nutritious inner membrane. A minute later she stands up to reveal a second chick beneath her! This chick hatched at 18.55 – two days after the first hatchling appeared.

May 29th 2018

The first baby barn owl hatches

Baby barn owl’s first day

The first barn owl chick has hatched! Watch as the female lifts off her clutch to reveal the new life. You can see the tiny chick moving! It is exactly 31 days since the first egg was laid. The female enjoys a good stretch before settling back down again to brood. The other two eggs are still to crack open, I am expecting the chicks to emerge from these over the next week.

May 23rd 2018

Sex, food and fights: a barn owl’s life! 

Brooding barn owls

Watch this fascinating episode from inside the barn owl nest. This short clip gives you an intimate glimpse of the life of a male barn owl and involves, sex, food and fighting! It begins with the female barn owl sitting on eggs. In flies the male with a gift for her. He has been out hunting and has caught a young rat. This is quite a substantial meal for a brooding owl, but she isn’t interested. We’ve learned from watching this pair before that when the male brings her an offering he expects to mate her in return. Perhaps that’s why she is reluctant! The poor dejected male keeps trying to engage her, pushing the rat towards her in every more pleading gestures. Eventually he gives up, mates her anyway and leaves. The female meanwhile endures his conjugal rights and as soon as he has gone starts to look for somewhere safe to stash her gift. But watch what happens next. The female starts in alarm as, outside, the male is attacked by a tawny owl. I’ve switched the cameras to the outside of the box where you can see the male taken by surprise by a dive-bombing tawny. Back inside, the female stands hissing, her mouth full of rat, as her mate fights off the intruder. Then she rushes back to sit on her eggs. Fascinating!

May 15th 2018

The barn owl sees off an intruder! 

Brooding barn owls

My nest cams picked up the moment a tawny owl intrudes on the brooding barn owl. Watch as moments before the tawny arrives at the entrance to the nest box, the barn owl freezes and looks up. Turn your sound on to hear as as she hisses and screeches, her wings stretched out as she postures to frighten the tawny owl away. It works. The tawny owl retreats and you can hear its hoots fade gradually away.

May 14th 2018

A Barn Owl’s Morning Ritual

Brooding barn owls

Remember the barn owl yoga? Well here it is again. But this time I have recorded the entire morning routine for your amusement. And I’m warning you I haven’t missed out any detail! I filmed this after noticing that the female barn owl gets up off her eggs at roughly 4.30pm every day, which for a night owl is morning. She gets up and has a good stretch, balancing on one long leg after the other. She then does a ‘shimmy’ to shake out all her feathers. Then each wing gets a stretch. In this clip she does one at a time, whilst also stepping backwards. What she does next is hilarious! How do you get yourself going of a morning?

May 14th 2018

The female barn owl refuses to take her gift

Brooding barn owls

After observing that the male barn owl supports the female on eggs by bringing her food and then mating her whilst she is still holding the offering in her mouth, the cameras caught this moment where the female refused to accept the gift of a young rat. Watch as the male tries to interest her. She sits impassively, then turns her head away. The male looks as though he doesn’t really know what to do. He stands about looking at a loss, then tries to briefly mate her before leaving the box a little disconcerted!

The male has been reliably bringing food to the female as she sits on her clutch. He mainly brings voles, but occasionally he has brought her a young rat. Watch how she swallows one whole in the following clip.

And here she dissects a vole, intestines and all.

May 13th 2018

How the barn owl pair behave in the box

Brooding barn owls

This fascinating clip taken from my nest cams in my owl box is a perfect synopsis of the relationship between the male and female barn owl, now that the female has a clutch of eggs. The deal between them seems to be that the male mates her in exchange for food. Watch as the male flies in to the box and offers the female something to eat. While she is still holding his offering in her mouth he mates her. Then off her flies, leaving her to stash her offering in a corner for later. He brings her food in exchange for the chance to mate her again. Watch the funny moment she walks across to hide the food and stops to stretch her leg momentarily – mouth still stuffed full of catch!

 

May 11th 2018

Barn owl yoga stretch

Brooding barn owls

Watch as the female barn owl has a good stretch after a long stint on her clutch of three eggs. This funny clip shows this barn owl stretch one long leg out and then stand and balance. She ends her ‘yoga’ routine with a graceful bow, stretching both wings high above her head. I’ve noticed that she does this at around 4.30pm every day, which is effectively her ‘morning’.

May 11th 2018

It’s hot in the barn owl box

Brooding barn owls

The weather has been very warm outside and its brought the bumblebees out. Watch the female as she gets distracted when one flies into the box.

May 11th 2018

Barn owl pair preening in the box

Brooding barn owls

The male seems to have been spending longer periods in the box. On the morning of May 11th he was there for 35 minutes. For 10 minutes they were preening together, which makes the times when he would just go straight into the box and mate her and then leave feel a little less brutal.

May 10th 2018

Barn Owl Posing

Brooding barn owls

My surveillance cameras picked up this gorgeous footage of the barn owl on the kestrel’s mating post tonight. Watch as this beautiful white owl glides across the countryside just as the sun is setting and swoops onto this branch. He then stands there posing perfectly!

May 4th 2018

A Night in the life of a barn owl on eggs

Brooding barn owls

Do owls sit on their eggs all day and all night? Or do they take a break, have a snack, stretch and even take time for a bit of time with their partners? I thought I’d share this fun footage of night with the female barn owl as she incubates. The film was taken on nest cams over the course of 3 hours from midnight until 3am and there is a surprising amount of activity, including a moment when the male comes in to the box, mates with her and then leaves, leaving an offering of food for her to devour before settling down to brood again. Later than night she lays her third egg!

May 4th 2018

Barn owl’s lays a third egg

Barn owls on eggs

The barn owl has laid a third egg. So far her eggs have arrived every two days. This egg was laid at ten minutes to four in the afternoon. Watch her as she sits, shuffling every now and then and lifting her tail. Her body rocks ever so slightly from side to side. Ten minutes after this behaviour she stands up and you can see a third egg. She leans down and nuzzles the eggs together before sitting back down to brood again.

May 2nd 2018

Barn owl’s second egg laid

Barn owls on eggs

The barn owl has now laid her second egg. Interestingly she again appeared to be ‘labouring’ 20 minutes before laying. My cameras recorded this action exactly three days after the first egg was laid. Watch her here as she shuffles, her tail erect and quivering, whilst she is incubating the first egg. The cameras pick this behaviour up at 8.28 am. Then at 8.47 she stands up and a second egg pops out. She looks down at it as if in surprise and then steps carefully over it before sitting down to brood. I have slowed the footage down at this point so that you can see the egg drop.

May 2nd 2018

Male barn owl treats the female mean but keeps her keen

Brooding barn owls

After watching the last clip of the male’s brief and perfunctory visit I decided to watch how many times he visited the nest box over a period of 24 hours. It turns out he was quite mean. From midnight on May 2nd to midnight May 3rd the female sat in the box incubating her eggs and the male visited 15 times. Of 12 of these visits he stayed just long enough to mate her and then left again. Most of his visits lasted between 25-30 seconds. The longest he staged was 60seconds. During these visits he only brought her food for her four times. Most of the time he just mated her and left.

 

May 1st 2018

Male barn owl’s perfunctory visit

Brooding barn owls

The female barn owl laid her first egg two days ago and has been in the box incubating ever since. She is visited sporadically by the male, but his visits are brief. Mainly he brings her a vole to eat, mates her and then leaves. Watch this clip however where he literally flies in, mates and leaves. She looks so forlorn afterwards and actually follows him to the entrance – as if to say, ‘Hey! I’m hungry, where’s my food?’!

April 29th 2018

Barn owl’s first egg

Barn owls on eggs

The barn owl has laid her first egg! I was beginning to worry that she wasn’t going to lay after the standoff with the kestrels and then the nest cams picked up this behaviour. Watch my the clip below to see how she sits, apparently labouring, her tail feathers quivering. Twenty minutes later she stands up to reveal a small, shiny white egg beneath her. The nest cams record her sitting and shuffling, tail up and quivering at 3.57pm, and then the egg is revealed at 4.16pm. I have stitched the sequences together so that you can watch it as one. Barn owls clutches of up to 5 eggs at 2/3 days and begin to incubate the eggs from the moment the first egg is laid. So far she has displayed text-book behaviour and has barely left the box. The male visits intermittently with food for her and to mate her, then leaves. I am expecting the next egg on May 1st or 2nd.

April 14th 2018

Barn owl takes a midnight dip

Courting barn owls

Watch this fabulous footage of the female barn owl taking a bath! It takes place on the night following the dramatic stand off with the female kestrel; described below. Perhaps the barn owl was feeling in need of a bath. She walks up to the side of the pond and then hops in with both feet. She seems a little surprised at how shallow the water is, then it takes another step and after a few cautious dips, the owl then ventures a little deeper before plunging right in. Watch as she emerges waist deep from the water, her feathers are drenched! She really seems to be enjoying herself. Like most birds, barn owls need to keep their feathers clean. This footage was recorded at about 2am last night and it had been a hot day so undoubtedly the owl was also cooling off. Barn owls often rinse off in shallow pools of water. Sadly they can get into trouble if the water is too deep and they are often found drowned in cattle drinking troughs. Click here to read this article by The Barn Owl Trust offering a very helpful solution on to how to create a float in your water trough to prevent this happening. 

 

April 14th 2018

Barn owl vs kestrel standoff

Barn owls defend their territory

The standoff between the kestrel pair and these barn owls has continued on and off for weeks, but today it reached a climax with a 45 minute standoff inside the sycamore stump. The female kestrel is increasingly distressed and calls and shrieks loudly throughout. Make sure you watch the clip below with the sound on. Watch the kestrel as she spreads out her wings and steps towards the barn owl squawking incessantly. Wouldn’t you if you found someone inside your house and they refused to get out despite you shouting at them for 45 minutes? The female barn owl barely budges throughout. Of course it doesn’t occur to the kestrel that she is blocking the entrance so the barn owl can’t actually get past her.Eventually the kestrel gives up and flies out, followed hard by the female barn owl.  I’ve been watching the sycamore stump closely to see if I can discover why the barn owls keep occupying it since they have already adopted the elm stump and seem quite settled there. I think that what is happening is accidental rather than deliberate. The barn owls fly around the garden at night and often as they fly past, the kestrels are roosting just outside the sycamore stump rather than inside it. The female kestrel can be aggressive and as a barn owl passes, she tends to fly at it. The owl then takes refuge inside the stump and then finds itself trapped inside!

April 18th 2018

Barn owl boogie

Courting barn owls

Barn owls’ eyes are fixed in their head so they have to twist their necks and bob up and down to judge distances. The cameras caught this female at about five in the morning. She has spotted something and begins to bob up and down to locate it. She is joined by the male and they both spend about 20 minutes sitting together watching the world from the entrance to their nest box. Every now and the male sees something and twists his head round then begins dancing up and down on the spot to locate it. The two rocking together in this way look quite sweet.

 

April 13th 2018

Barn owl bond

Courting barn owls

I’m expecting the female barn owl to lay any day now. The pair is bonding well and now spend a good deal of their time together. The following clip shows them sitting in the entrance to the elm stump, which seems to now be their established adopted nest box. It is quite lovely to see them both together. The one on the right is the female. Watch as she emerges from inside the nest and budges her mate out of the way. He barely flinches as she snugs up next to him and soon closes his eyes to doze off.

April 5th 2018

Barn owl vs kestrel deadlock

Territorial barn owls

Last night the cameras outside the ash stump captured the resident female kestrel, poised at the entrance to her nest box for what seemed like hours. When I reeled back through the footage I discovered what the issue was. A female barn owl was inside. The kestrel was blocking its exit, standing in its way with menacing persistence. What happened next was incredible. The male barn owl flew down and tried to barge its way in to rescue its mate. But its valiant efforts were short-lived as the kestrel grabbed it and threw it out of the box. As the two flew out of shot, grappling, the female escaped from the box. The male then returned to occupy the box. But this wasn’t the end because within minutes the kestrel returned and her lengthy stand-off commenced. This deadlock lasted throughout the night! And after looking through the nest cam footage it looks like it continued well into the next day too.

March 19th 2018

Barn owl scrathes a nest scrape

Courting barn owls

Watch the male and female barn owl climb into the nest scrape together and then begin preening one another. The male is in the box on his own and seems to want to test out his scrape because he jumps in to it and has a little sit down. Then watch his reaction as the female comes in to inspect his work. He’s a little reluctant to move over! She gently nudges him across and then almost has to shoulder him out of the way. But it’s all friendly because then they begin to preen one another’s faces. This is preening one another essential for the pair to bond before the eggs are laid.

March 15th 2018

Barn owls mate

Barn owls courting

The barn owls are mating! This footage is from inside the elm stump and its exciting to think that this could now be the site of the next generation. Watch this space. We might even be lucky enough to see an egg in time for Easter.

March 5th 2018

Barn owl nest scraping 1

Barn owls courting

Watch this male barn owl as it scrapes a hollow in the bottom of this nest box. Barn owls don’t build nests, but scratch out these nest scrapes instead. The males make the scrapes and then work to attract their mates. If the females approve then this is where the pair will eventually raise their brood.

February 26th 2018

Barn owls take a ‘snow day’

Barn owls courting

This week kicked off with a severe weather front from Eastern Russia. Known as ‘The Beast from the East’, this involved heavy snowfall, blizzards and high winds. It was so severe I was concerned for the barn owls since they are unable to hunt in high winds and their favourite prey, voles, were hidden under a thick crust of snow. I put out extra food for them. Then the camera trained on the ash stump showed this male barn owl taking a ‘snowday’ out of the harsh winds. Watch it below as it keeps an eye on incoming blizzards.

February 12 2018

Owl wars: The barn owls get chased by a tawny owl

Barn owls fighting over territory

The cold weather meant there was added pressure for shelter and my nest cams picked up the dramatic moment when a tawny owl chased two barn owls into the elm stump. Watch as the two barn owls fly one by one into the nest box, then follow the clip as I switch to the internal camera to see their surprise to discover one another inside the box. I’ve then switched back to the external camera to show the tawny owl as it follows them both inside the box. Keep watching to see the barn owls’ alarm as the tawny enters the box. The nest cam didn’t pick up the tawny inside the box, but you can tell it was there by the barn owls’ reaction of pure shock! Thankfully the tawny decided to fly out again rather than fight them as they are trapped at the back of the box!

Enjoy this blog post? Then take a look at my other nest cam posts:

The full story and all the best clips from my nestcams

Latest from the Kestrel Cam

Rare Footage Cam

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9 comments on Latest from the Barn Owl Cam

  1. Last year a pair of barn owls raised 3 chicks in the owl box. However this year a pair of kestrels have set up home in there and the barn owl is in the fold yard

  2. Hello Robert. You have a wonderful set of cameras recording all day on so many wildlife events. I too have two Owlets growing up strong. I have been watching the male look after the female hunting and feeding her and now I am watching Mum hunting and feeding her two owlets.
    I wondered if you could recommend the best scouting camera to record all these activities. How do you set up all the TV monitors? The land around me is vast and on the edge of the moors, so I have to use cameras with batteries as there is no access to electricity. I would value your advice and help. Many thanks, Gaye.

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