Two Down

Another update on the baby barn owls (Tyto alba) in our barn (Lookout CA):

Oldest Owlet

About a week ago I mentioned that one of the four owlets hatched in the bucket in our barn had fallen out of the nest and was being raised on the barn floor by its parents. This happens every year because the bucket is not large enough for the growing chicks. A second chick is now out of the nest. Barn owl eggs are laid over a period of many days and hatch over approximately the same time frame as they were laid. This difference in age/size of owlets in a brood is easily observed in the two birds out of the nest. The wing feathers of one are already evident and it can get up on top of hay bales. This baby is no longer cute and cuddly.

Second Nest Escapee

The second owlet to fall from the nest has taken over the corner where his sibling previously sat. There are a few wing feathers and his heart-shaped face is beginning to feather.

Remaining Two (?)

Two smaller chicks remain in the nest. I thought there were only  four owlets in the clutch – a record for our barn. Now I think there just might be a FIFTH baby. I could not tell for certain and was unable to photograph a fifth little face and pair of eyes. Yet there appears to be an extra little ball of fuzzy down that occasionally is visible over the bucket rim. If indeed there is a fifth owlet, it is very late to hatch. I will keep watching and reporting.

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7 Responses to Two Down

  1. Pingback: Fledgling Barn Owls | The Nature Niche

  2. M.O. says:

    Matt’s comments are funny! I actually think that the owlets look pretty cute now! I’ve never seen teenage pigeons, but I do agree that the babies are adorable.

    • gingkochris says:

      Birds that are born with down, open eyes and able to walk ARE cute. The helpless ones with no feathers (down) and closed eyes can look rather worse than even “teens”.

  3. usermattw says:

    It’s funny how that awkward teenage phase applies to birds, too. When I had pigeons nesting in the air well outside my bathroom window, the babies were adorable and the adults were pretty, but the teenage ones were just ugly.

  4. Lin says:

    Fascinating !!! I really appreciate your ‘links’ and the continued updates.

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