Over the last two nights, we have watched the young owls begin to learn the basics of flying. They hop on branches, clamber up and down the trunk, and spend time practicing on the former canada goose nest, hopping and flying from the trunk to the nest and back again. We've also seen them scanning, moving their heads back and forth as they look at and listen to the world around them. Earlier this year, I was talking to one of my children about her navigational skills. "Mom," she protested, "why would I know how to navigate? I've lived in the same place my whole life, and I don't drive yet." I think the young owls may be having a similar experience. They've spent their entire lives to date in a small, crowded hole where their wings and directional hearing weren't really needed. They have roughly five weeks of diminishing parental care to learn flying, pouncing, hovering, hunting, and capturing prey. While flying and hunting are instinctual, proficient flying and hunting must be learned. A few video highlights from the first couple of nights:
- First Owl Outside
- Fledged Owlet Climbs Back In
- Owl Family In The Tree
- Fledgling Owls at the Canada Goose Nestbox
- Not Quite Ready for Fledge
- Fledging Flickr Set
According to the Barn Owl Trust, the amount of food each owl receives from its parents diminishes to zero by 14 weeks. There is some disagreement about dispersal, which may or may not happen after 14 weeks. We'll see what this family does.
Not a night owl? I am freeing up video from each night on a daily basis. To watch video, go to Eaglecrest's Ustream site. Social stream will most likely be open. Click the Video tab just left of the Social Stream tab above SS to view video.