Owl and badger update

Tawny owl

I’ve had my trailcam out on the birds feeding patio during the night and discovered badgers visiting the garden to eat the few dog biscuits I’ve left out. These will be the animals from the sett nearest our home and it’s great to have them here. Except that their approach to my garden is through my neighbour’s and they’ve left a few footprints in his newly sown grass. Still, I think I’ve convinced him that perfect grass isn’t such a big deal.. (When they climb into my garden, they use the footpath)

One evening this week, I set up and waited from 10pm until 3am. Typically, nothing came so, the next night, I set up the trailcam again. At 9pm and 9.30pm respectively, we had visits from a fox and a badger. This is sods law. Next time, I’ll be out there earlier and we’ll see what happens…

It’s the 24th April and the male owl is now delivering prey to the nest box during daytime. In the evening, as she calls, he arrives to collect his chick at around 8.30pm, before dark, and takes it straight into the box to leave for his mate. They’re now feeding young. This timescale is consistent with normal tawny owl breeding behaviour, which means that the chick(s) should fledge around 24th May or even earlier.

Last evening, the female left the box early and I could hear the distinctive squeaky call of a youngster, together with a bit of movement inside the nest. The male then delivered the chick but, surprisingly, just dumped it inside and left immediately. Since there was no adult there to assist, I’m assuming the youngster will have had to wait for mum to return or make the best of it itself.

Check out the photos on the front page.

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