'Who-cooks-for-you? Who-cooks-for-you-aaallll?'I found him on a branch, again. Daisy helped. I'm going to have to ensure she is locked up when I do this again.
I went to my book on owls, Owls of the U.S. and Canada by Wayne Lynch.
|This barred owl was killed on the highway|
Dark brown eyes, a pale yellow beak.
|Read more here|
|All About Birds|
They fledge in 4 - 5 weeks. In the meantime, using their wings, owlets can climb 6 metres up a tree, using strong talons, before they can truly fly.
This owl has been sitting high atop a gully, with wetland below. A perfect spot from which to survey his territory. He seems rather sleepy in the day (they are nocturnal), thankfully for Daisy. I've scoured the dead trees to no avail. They prefer a hidden, empty cavity, to a tree top nest. I think this pair is in a cavity somewhere.
Since they incubate a month, and nest a month, I thought I might have a chance to figure out where the nest is, but so far, no luck! My birding community suggest I go out at dusk and listen for them as the chicks call for food at this time. I have a better chance now that there aren't any leaves out, but I'm giving up hope!
The male brings her food, and she will feed the chicks once they hatch. The male barred owl might feed the chicks, Lynch says, but he won't dismember it. Momma owl will clean up the nest, eating feathers and feces the chicks leave for her.
Owl chicks in a nest ( as opposed to a cavity) will become branchers, as they move out onto the tree branches, still being fed by parents, howling for food. This is dangerous, and must be a risky period of time for the family. The noise of the chicks can attract predators (e.g., Great horned owls – one nested in the forest across the highway).
Below, I've embedded the Wild Birds Unlimited nestcam!
Food sourcesThey sit and watch for victims, but they can hunt like hawks do, zooming across a spot and cruising for prey. They estimate, from research, that 2/3s of their prey get away. When they eat a mouse, they swallow it whole. The indigestible bits (fur, bones, etc.) come back out in a pellet. I've been back several times and found a couple more pellets. He seems to sit in the same tree, night after night. These owls can eat 10 mice in a row, if they catch them.
They eat small mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.
This is a feather I've found on his favourite perch. A large tree in a different part of the forest. This is where I've been finding owl pellets. What the heck, the curiosity was killing me. I dissected them and found he'd snagged something relatively large. Thankfully, not Daisy!