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Tawny Owl Cam
Welcome to my ‘tawny owl cam’ where I collate the best clips of tawny owls from cameras hidden inside and outside my nest boxes. I’ve had a pair of tawny owls nesting in a row of sycamore trees in the valley just below my garden for many years now and each year they bring their newly fledged brood to feed from my bird table. But it is only since I installed the nest cams that I’ve been able to watch their lives closely and get to know their individual stories.
My cameras run 24 hours a day so that I don’t miss a moment’s action, but rather than you having to watch a live camera, when often there is nothing to see for hours, I’ve only selected the best clips here. I plan to post these as I get them. Don’t forget to keep checking in to see the latest and follow the individual stories of the tawny owls living in my garden as they unfold. I will post the latest action at the top, so scroll down to read this year’s story of the tawny owls in the garden from the beginning.
There haven’t been any tawny owls in the beech stump nest box for over a month now. I am fairly certain they are nesting in another box close by in the row of sycamore trees in the valley below the house. Sadly the box they have chosen does not have a camera inside so I won’t be able to watch what happens during this breeding season. That’s the way it goes sometimes! Keep checking in as the season progresses in case I get some footage of the tawnys feeding on my bird table. They often also bring their young to feed once they have fledged.
The tawny owl has a mate! My nest camera caught this footage of the two of them preening one another inside the beech stump. This was where they nested last year, I wonder if this could be a nest site again this year? It is nice to see them preening together like this, it means that they are bonded which is a good sign for the future.
Valentine’s Day and the cameras captured this tawny owl attempting to attract a mate. This is the beginning of the courting season and it’s almost as if this owl knows the date! This oscillating croon is a sound I often hear at night but its rare to capture it on camera in daylight. You can see the owl’s throat fluff out as it produces this ocarina-sounding call – this is the noise it makes when it is trying to attract a mate to a suitable nesting site and is the beginning of courtship. The owl was calling just before nightfall and if you watch to the end you will see the light change when it then looks quite spooky against the night sky.
February 13th, 2018
Today’s footage is brilliant! Finally the tawny owl and the grey squirrel clash. These two have been engaged in a silent battle over my ash stump nest box for week. But the battle doesn’t end as you might expect! Watch how the squirrel returns to the nest box to find the owl inside. What happens next is astonishing. Instead of the tawny owl chasing the squirrel out, as you would expect, since tawnys are so aggressive, it is the squirrel who shows the owl who’s boss. Watch how it literally head butts the owl out of the cavity, and then stands at the entrance aggressively wagging its tail as if to say: “And you can stay out!”
January 6th 2018
The cameras picked up this fabulous footage of the grey squirrel leaving the ash stump nest box this morning. It has been using the box to sleep in whilst the tawny owl is out hunting at night but it knows that the owl won’t tolerate its presence if it finds it in the box. Watch the squirrel cautiously check that the coast is clear before it dares to come out into the open. It’s quite comical the way it emerges so carefully. And rightfully so. Tawny owls are very aggressive birds and it wouldn’t attack the squirrel without question if it found it there!
January 5th, 2018
The saga of the tawny owl and the grey squirrel continues. The grey squirrel appears most evenings to put the finishing touches to the drey and often goes to sleep inside. Then the tawny returns from a night’s hunting to find even more nesting material inside. The grey squirrel’s drey is now so full of sticks it has almost obscured the camera. The following clip caught me by surprise. Watch as the tawny returns and then leaves – then notice that almost immediately afterwards the grey squirrel also leaves! It must have been sound asleep inside when the tawny owl appeared. Thankfully the owl didn’t stay long enough to notice it!!!
January 4th Night, 2018
I was waiting for this footage. This is the moment the tawny owl gets back to find its nest is full of sticks! It can barely get through the entrance!
January 4th, 2018
Here it is! The squirrel began to build its drey inside the ash stump nest box in earnest today. It was at it all day. I’ve picked out this footage from the first hour. Watch as it carries twigs into the cavity. At one point it has a stick that is so long it won’t go in. After a while the squirrel works out that it needs to cut the sticks to size. Watch it knawing away at the branches to get them in!
January 2nd, 2018
Little does the male owl realise but a squirrel has been in whilst its been out hunting at night and begun to build a drey in its chosen nest box. Watch it fly in and immediately begin to start calling to try to attract a mate to the site. This is a sure sign that the tawny believes that this is a suitable place to nest and has claimed it as its own. But behind it are some sticks, the beginnings of a drey. Keep checking in to see if my nest cams pick up the squirrel!
Enjoy this blog post? Take a look at my other nest cam blog posts:
Author: Robert E Fuller