Sunday, May 6, 2018

Cheering for #5

                #5 in the upper right, eyes closed. Note the size difference between #5 (ten days old)
                and its siblings (12 days old.)

by Trina

#5 is the temporary name (suggestions are welcome) for the fifth owlet who hatched 2 days later than its siblings and is considerably smaller, weaker, and easier to miss when feeding. We want ALL the owlets to survive, which is not likely, we know, but for now they are all still alive, and for now, I'm paying particular attention to whether #5 is getting fed during deliveries. Feedings are fairly frenetic, making it hard to see exactly what's going on, but once in a while we get a decent glimpse of #5 in the hubbub:

Here, #5 is on the left, struggling with a piece of something dead, while DH feeds the other owlets in the upper right corner:


Here, #5 makes a move and gets fed:


#5 gets food:



Here, a mere 22 minutes later, #5 gets fed again. You can hear his little beak clicking against the nest box wall as he struggles to get something down:


Feed, Sit, Leave, Rinse, Repeat


by Trina

Every morning I awake to dozens of nest cam videos from the night. The camera is motion triggered, so when there is motion, it starts recording; when the motion stops, it stops recording. If I'm awake and can answer the alert that I get when there is motion, I can make a longer video. When I'm asleep, though, the camera is on and off throughout the night, recording in short 20 to 30 second bursts of activity. Most of the clips are nearly the same sequence of parent feeding, hopping up to the hole to sit with his or her wings directly in front of the camera for a few seconds -- you definitely have to be patient with the lengthy views of an out-of-focus owl wing (ah, first world problems) --  and then leaving to go find more food. Feed, sit, leave (FSL). Return in a minute, or 3 minutes, or 25 minutes. Feed, sit, leave. Repeat. There are variations on the theme. Sometimes Boyle brings DH a kill, giving it to her as she sits in the hole. Sometimes he delivers a kill to her inside the box and she dispenses it to the babies, tearing off small pieces for them. Sometimes he delivers to the babies inside the box. Sometimes he gives her food on a branch outside and she takes it into the owlets. Either way, they are both working so very hard, all through the night, doing some version of the FSL over and over and over:




In these next 2 videos, DH does an FSL-return-FS, and then receives a delivery from Boyle, all within one minute: 



Here, both parents are in the box feeding owlets:


Saturday, May 5, 2018

More of the Owlets at 11 (and 9) Days

and one of Mom:


Serious flapping:


Feeding:


Owlet with wing part:


#5 with a moth? lacewing? It looks like he doesn't actually succeed at eating it, though. It gets hard to see once DH hops up into the hole to sit, but it looks like one of the larger owlets dives for the bug at 1:30 after #5 left it laying on the floor:



Owlets at 11 (and 9) Days

    (#5 is under DH in this picture.)

Two owlets venture out from under Mom:


Here, after DH feeds and leaves, you can see one of the owlets tearing at a piece of a dead thing...


... and lifting the dead thing:


Here, in the first few seconds, you can see the size difference between #5 and its siblings, and an owlet stretches its wings: