Sunday, December 23, 2012

Owls from the Archives: How to Get Fed

Here's something from the video archives that accumulated during this year’s nesting season: owlet food begging, and two food deliveries. As one of the owlets has learned, and demonstrates with the second food delivery, the best way to make sure that you’re the one who gets fed is to be the owlet nearest the entryway.

May 23, 2012, 9:21 PM CDT
17.5 MB MPEG-4 video.

If you’re remembering that there were four owlets this year, and wondering why there are only three here, that’s because the eldest owlet had already left the nest at this point (three days ahead of the sibling who hatched on the same day, if memory serves).


  1. endlessly cool and spectacular and nightmarish at the same time. oh, yeah, and very appreciated.

  2. something I notice with the videos that the still shots could never convey - the birds stop - entirely - freeze - you even think the video has stalled - and then move.

  3. Very true about the owls’ ability and propensity to stand still. It's a great help in getting clear images from the video stream. :-) Also, of course, as predators who depend on not being noticed, standing still is one of their most basic skills. When they do so at times when they can't be observed (or wouldn’t care if they were) I suspect that some of the time they’ve stopped to carefully listen to something, but other times the better explanation seems to be that they’ve stopped to think – some idea has crossed their mind, and while they think it through, their body just stops, which is their safest default. The screech owl motto could be “think carefully, wait patiently, act quickly, be invisible.”