Our barn owls have paired up!

February 18, 2020

Yes. This morning, on my walk, I watched sparrows take straw up into a local roof.

And today I also saw a magpie taking mud from our saturated garden and packing her nest with it... in our big fir tree.

But that's NOTHING compared to what Ben and I saw yesterday.

 

Regular readers of this blog might know that my eldest boy (Ben) and I have been watching the local barn owls (a mile or two SW of Binfield village) for a couple of months now.

We've noted a male and a female owl. Interact with each other a few times, over a favourite stubble field.

But not roost together.

Well... not until yesterday.

Yesterday, I drove us up to their patch and we saw both the female AND now the male too in the (female's original) roost for the first time this year.

They were both there this evening too - with the male leaving the joint (now) roost a good half hour earlier than the female.

The clip below (on YouTube) is audio only  - I've blacked out the visuals to protect the exact location of this schedule 1 bird.

I hope you enjoy it anyway - you'll hear my boy almost keel over with excitement and joy at seeing BOTH his favourite birds "team up" in the female's roost.

Now. Whilst it really is superb news that these owls have paired up - all barn owls are going through HELL at present what with all this wind and rain.

They are having HUGE trouble hunting, reliant on dry weather as they are, to keep airborne and still(ish) weather to hear their prey.

I desperately hope they catch some voles tonight... because if these inclement conditions continue, as I rather depressingly explained to Ben in the car tonight - these owls will abandon any attempt at breeding this year, before they even start. (No point risking everything in a breeding attempt if you can barely catch enough food to survive yourselves). 

Or... as the old joke goes: "It's too wet to woo, for owls..."

Cross your fingers, dear readers.

And your toes.

More soon.

TBR

 

 


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