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Tawny Owl Nest Camera | May-June 2019 | One Precious Chick
After a worrying start to the season, just one precious tawny owl chick hatched inside my purpose-made Beech Stump nest box. This fluffy owlet was joined by two foster chicks and all three tawny babies have now fledged successfully.
Scroll down to see my paintings inspired by these video studies
Fostering and Fledging
Owl’s First Flights
The tawny owl chick has grown very quickly, even quicker that usual it seems. I put this down to the fact that it was the only one and has had its parents undivided attention, along with plenty of food. When the chick was almost due to fledge I was handed two more tawny owlets by Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation, a charity I work closely alongside to help release animals and birds back into the wild.
I placed them gently into the nest next to the, astonished, only chick. The two foundlings were also just at the point of fledging and flew out of the nest to a nearby branch that very evening. Thankfully the adult birds cannot count and when the male returned with some food for its chick it responded to the calls from the foundlings and simply fed all three.
It seems fitting that this pair originally laid three eggs and have ended up caring for three chicks after all. Watch the clip below to see how the chicks reacted to one another and turn your sound on to hear the original chick ‘clacking’ its surprise when the foundlings are placed into its nest. The three chicks are still living in the trees in the valley below my gallery and it is wonderful to see them sitting together as if in a crèche, with the adult male standing guard over them.
Click to play video
Just One Precious Chick Hatches
Bringing Up Baby Owl
This time of year is always exciting as we wait and watch for the moment of hatching. Our female tawny owl incubated for a total of 32 days and so it was wonderful to get the first glimpse of her chick. Watch my video below to see the moment she stood up to reveal the tiny chick. Without its mother’s support it tumbled over backwards!
It was a magical moment because the adult female was very ill during spring and it was a miracle she had laid any eggs at all. Over the next few days it became apparent that this was the only egg that was going to hatch. And so this precious little chick was going to have all her parent’s attention and obviously stand a better chance of survival.
One of the reasons tawny owls are so successful is that they have such a varied diet. During this period the parent birds brought in mice, voles and young rats. The female even brought in a young frog one wet evening. She was very guarded over her solitary chick and spent most of the first few days of the chick’s life brooding it. As a result we only got very short glimpses of the new chick. But as the days developed she began to spend more time away from the nest and we got to see this special little tawny owl chick, its fluffy downy feathers now through.
Click on the image above to play the video
Meanwhile we watched the parents on other cameras in my garden and even captured the moment the female had a bath. She needs to do this to keep her feathers clean, since they can get filthy whilst brooding.
Look out for the next update when we will be watching the chick as it fledges and following its first adventures into the outside world.
Tawny Owl Chicks
Tawny owls lay glossy white eggs about 1.9 in × 1.5 in in size. A typical clutch is of two or three eggs and is incubated by the female for 30 days. She is supported by the male with regular deliveries of food.
When the chicks hatch they are covered in white downy feathers. These are replaced by flight feathers later and at 35-390 days the chicks go on to fledge. Often they hop on to nearby branches before taking their first flights. This is known as branching.
This species is fearless in defence of its nest and young and will strike intruders on the head with their sharp talons. Because their flight is silent, they may not be detected until it is too late to avoid the danger. The best-known victim of a tawny owl’s fierce attack was the renowned bird photographer Eric Hosking, who lost his left eye when struck by a bird he was attempting to photograph near its nest in 1937.
Tawny owl parents care for their young for two or three months after they fledge, but from August to November the juveniles disperse to find a territory of their own to occupy.
Tawny Owl Artwork
My Tawny Owl Paintings
Inspired by watching these tawny owls
My webcams are essentially studies for my paintings. Here are a few of the paintings inspired by watching and learning about these birds up close.
Tawny Owl On Lookout | Fine Art Print | Shop Now
The Story So Far
Follow this Tawny Owl Nest Camera
Keep up to date with all the action on my Tawny Owl Nest Camera. I share all the highlights here. The latest:
April 2019 Update – Egg Laying & Incubation https://www.robertefuller.com/diary/tawny-owl-nest-camera-april-2019-laying-eggs-incubating/
Jan | Feb 2019 Update – Courtship & Nest Building: https://www.robertefuller.com/diary/tawny-owl-nest-camera-jan-2019-attracting-a-mate/
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