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Barn Owls at Fotherdale 2021 | Stories from Barn Owl Nest

This blog follows the lives of a barn owl family living near my home in Fotherdale, North Yorkshire. As a wildlife artist, I use surveillance cameras to study owls for my paintings and over the years I have learned the individual story of each owl that lives here.

Read on to meet Finn, the resident male, and his mate Gylfie, and learn about their brand new owl romance. It is very early in the breeding season here, but I am hopeful that these owls will go on to raise a new family of barn owl babies here at Fotherdale. Follow the link below to find out how this pair met and to read each of their back stories.

Click here to follow Fotherdale’s barn owls in 2020 

Live Streaming

You can watch this nest box live on my YouTube Channel or on my Facebook page, Robert E Fuller, where I share a livestream from the owl nest every afternoon. 

Who’s Who

Before you read on or watch the livestream, you may find this guide on how to recognise each barn owl individual helpful

A guide to Fotherdale’s Barn Owls

January 2021


Barn Owl Courtship

Barn owls Gylfie and Finn seem very much in love right now. They spend their days snuggled up together in a nest box I made out of an old Elm stump, preening one another lovingly. But Finn is a young male and very inexperienced when it comes to love making. Watch the latest clip below to see his first, bodged attempt. He actually knocks poor Gylfie’s head to the ground. This clumsiness is in keeping with his early courtship, when he successfully wooed Gylfie to pair up with him in a my Elm Stump box but once he had her, didn’t know what to do with her.

Click here to read more about their early courtship

It will be some time before we get barn owl eggs

Although this pair are beginning to mate, they are unlikely to be any eggs until at least March. Barn owls seem to engage in a lot of love making once they have paired up, but it doesn’t appear to be productive. Last year the first eggs were laid on March 31st, so I expect we will witness these two love birds engaged in plenty more love making over the next few months before we see the results of their efforts!

Click on the arrow in the picture below to watch this clip from my nest camera and find out just how clumsy a lover Finn is right now:




Barn Owls: The Facts

Barn Owl Eggs

Stories from the Fotherdale Barn Owl Nest

A female barn owl lays 4-8 relatively small white eggs. She lays an egg every two to three days, over a period of three weeks. Incubation begins, however, as soon as the first egg is laid. It is the female barn owl that largely broods the eggs. She sits on the eggs for 31-32 days. The female does all the incubation and the male provides all the food. I will be expecting the first egg to hatch on May 1st or 2nd with the rest hatching  in turn, depending on the order that they were laid, two to three days later.

All About Barn Owls: The Facts

Barn Owls: The Facts

Barn Owl Chicks

Stories from the Fotherdale Barn Owl Nest

Barn owl chicks are naked when they hatch, but they quickly develop a very thin covering of down. They are still unable to keep themselves warm at this early age so the female broods them until the eldest is around three weeks old. When they are uncovered they make a soft, chittering sound.

The male supports his family by bringing food, which the female rips into tiny pieces to feed to her growing young. By three weeks old an owlet can swallow a shrew or small mouse whole – they can feed themselves at this stage so squabbles over food become more common. At this stage the chick’s birth down is replaced by a thicker down. This frees up the female to help the male with hunting duties. By five weeks old the chicks can run, jump, pounce, hiss and click their tongues. They typically move their heads from side to side, round and round, even upside down! Their characteristic heart-shaped face appears, and the flight feathers can be seen underneath the white fluffy down. Wing flapping exercises begin at about seven weeks and by eight to nine weeks old the owlets make their first short flights. 


Barn Owl Artwork

My Barn Owl Paintings

Art inspired by this barn owl nest camera

My webcams are essentially studies for my paintings. Here are a few of the paintings inspired by watching and learning about his bird pair up close. Click here to see my full barn owl art collectionClick here to see my all owl art prints | Click here to see my luxury owl art gifts.

barn owl painting
Barn Owl On Lookout | Fine Art Print | Shop Now


Barn Owl On Cart | Fine Art Print | Shop Now


barn owl painting
Barn Owl At Rest | Fine Art Print | Shop Now


barn owl chick painting
‘Snuggled Up’ | Fine Art Print | Shop Now

You may also like: 

Kestrel Nest Camera | Peregrine Nest Camera

Read More: 

Fotherdale Barn Owls 2020 | Stories from a Barn Owl Nest Camera

Helping barn owls to thrive on the Yorkshire Wolds

Wild Barn Owl Mum Takes on Foundlings


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