Another somewhat depressing week as far as the owls and myself were concerned – me still suffering health-wise and having to concentrate on a sick (and eventually dead) hen - and the owls still suffering from pretty woolly weather – albeit a little warmer than it could be with the jet stream sitting on top of us once again, after its brief sojourn in its normal summer position over Scotland.
I have been to seethe owls once in the past week – and for the first time since I started following the family over 6 months ago, I found two little owls on the “winter shed” a few hundred yards from their “summer shed” and oak tree nest box.
It is almost impossible to tell the adults apart (ie which is the female and which is the male) now that they have finished breeding for this year, but I still would pop a little money on the fact that the male took over his old winter HQ and has now been joined (probably pretty briefly considering we’re racing into August already) by one or both of his offspring.
Two adults successfully raised two young this year at our local farm, but I’ve not seen three owls (let alone four) in many weeks now. That said, for one reason or another, I’ve not had the time to continually be up in their fields, watching them.
As I said a few weeks ago, if both fledglings still live, they will be very fast approaching the time where they will either fly off and set up new territories on their own or one may even fight off their own father for their present territory (very doubtful).
If neither (little) little owl has left the present family territory by the end of September (or maybe October), they will start to fight ( over a dwindling food supply) and be forced apart.
I have a week off in about ten days – maybe then I can find a little time to watch our young family of little owls start to grow up, get more and more confident and think about dispersing. I hope so…