Happy Mother’s Day to our Momma owl!
Here is her Mother’s Day Portrait.
The babies are getting bigger. Earlier this week started to stand and take a step or two; now they are up and moving constantly. Mom spends a lot of the day looking out the opening in the box while the kids play.
The young owls often push each other around in what appears to be a way of building strength. I am only guessing, but is seems that this is how they increase their muscles and balance. At first, the mother owl had to tear apart food and feed it to the little ones. Now they are able to do that for themselves. I think that is one result of the little wrestling matches the babies have.
Now the parents drop food on in the box and the owlets feed themselves.
Survival of the fittest.
It is clear that one baby is the dominant one. When food is brought in, the top guy grabs it first, often gobbling it down whole. The other one is left to watch and hope for a chance the next time food is delivered. If a parent brings in a large frog or other item there is a bit of a battle between the two babies for it.
The young have big appetites and it takes both parents hunting all night to satisfy them. We have even seen the mother fly out of the box during the day to snatch a lizard or two for a snack for the young owls. She is also gone from the box longer during the night.
Soon, the mother owl will leave the box during the day and perch on a nearby tree limb. It is my opinion that she does this for two reasons. First, as the babies grow, the nest box gets very crowded. Second, I think she is teaching them to be self reliant and not count on her for all of their needs.
The photo on the left is not very high quality. One baby is peeking out from under momma. The only way I have of getting the images is to photograph the TV. The little camera inside the box is not digital, so there is not a simple way of converting it to post on the web. Nonetheless, we very much enjoy watching our owl family grow.
FOG sez: Thanks to Moms everywhere, without you we just wouldn’t be.