Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Owlet no. 1 Hatched

Owlet no. 1 hatched sometime between midnight and 3:30 AM. So, the activity in the nest box is going to steadily increase from this point on. This is when the viewing really starts to become interesting.

The first look at the owlet came a bit before 6 AM. Those curious, and those who have QuickTime installed, can view two, short time-lapse movies of the owlet moving around; one seen from the side, and one seen from above. At this early stage, the owlet can't even lift its head, so there’s not a lot to see, but the movies will give you more of an idea of what a several hour old owlet looks like than any single image from the box. By the way, if you're having trouble making heads or tails of the little fellow, the owlet is laying on its belly, with its head between the remaining three eggs, and its tail pointing outwards. In the overhead view, a fragment of egg shell can be seen moving around on the owlet's left. Mme. Owl will have already eaten the rest of the egg shell in order to (1) reclaim the calcium, and (2) prevent any large pieces from coming to enclose any portion of the other eggs, thereby reducing the surface area through which air can pass to the fetuses.


  1. Thank-you and hooray!

  2. Susan G.12:57 PM CDT

    So not cool that the fire ants caused such havoc. Crossing fingers and toes that the owls survive. Thanks for being such a good steward.

  3. Good save nipping the fire ant problem in the bud!!! The owlets are lucky to have a good "surrogate daddy" watching over them :)

    Loved the pic of the owlet - you can see see the egg tooth!

  4. Chris, you had a stressful day - you deserve a medal for your good stewardship! If nothing else, pop a cold beer. Mme Owl is finally relaxing, poor thing. Thanks from the California crew for all you do above and beyond the call of Owl Box Duty!

  5. Robin in Southlake5:56 PM CDT

    Just noticed you have your webcam up and running this year! Wonderful! I have had a pair of Eastern Screech Owls raising 4 owlets, for the first time. Because of your site, I became interested in Eastern Screech Owls and put up a nest box about 5 years ago. It's great fun to watch the owls. This morning though, one of the owlets seemed to have an injured leg and was attempting to climb up a window on the outside of our house. A bit later we found it face down on the ground behind our pool pump. We put it back in the nest box. Hopefully the mother owl will continue to feed it and the leg will heal. I called a wildlife rescue center and talked to a volunteer who said we did the right thing. Thanks for sharing your webcam and owl notes with us another year Chris.