If you have been following my blogs and tweets, you will know that we have been having more and more regular visits to our Tawny Box at Yew View. At night, we have been seeing the male and female visit several times, and were just waiting to see what might happen next that might give us an indication that they were actually going to breed here.
Every morning, the first thing I do is check the iCatcher app on my phone to see what has happened overnight in the box. I can access all the cameras and do a basic playback. As the cameras loaded up, I could see that the Tawny was still in the box! I was quite literally shaking with excitement as I hit on playback and I saw that she had come in in the early hours. This is the first time I have had an owl in my box during the day and, as you can imagine, the prospect of them breeding in here is possibly one of the most exciting footage I will have to date from my boxes!
My only slight concern is that this is the male… I was pretty sure that the individual with the pale feathers was the male… we will wait and see!
I excitedly texted the owners of the site (before 7am on a Sunday) and we have been sharing tweets all day, as we have watched the owl snoozing.
I can only access basic functions here, but David (who owns Yew View) uploaded some footage and sent it to me so I could put it on YouTube and share it. Sadly the Internet on site is not good enough to live stream the camera, so we will have to settle for regular updates on YouTube. I am able to then screen capture stills from this footage. It is a real treat to be able to watch her in colour!
We are hoping that she will return to the box again and that we see an egg laid in the next week. If we do, then she will start incubating straight away. She may lay another 2 – 3 eggs, that will hatch after 28-30 days incubation. They will then fledge 32-37 days after hatch.
It is very hard not to get carried away and imagine what it will be like if we can follow the whole story of this wonderful owl and her potential family! In the meanwhile, we will make the most of all the clips we managed to get of her……
This is the first clip from this morning. The clip starts with the IR on. As the light levels rise outside, a sensor swaps the IR to small daylight LEDs. I was slightly concerned that this might worry her, but she showed no signs at all that she had even noticed. Tawnies often roost in trees or in crevices in trunks. They are used to daylight in roosting times….
Our next concern was when the dogs come out into the garden, as they are always excited and bark a lot. I was sure that these tawnies would have roosted close by and be used to the everyday sounds of this area. Thankfully, my assumptions seemed correct as she showed no response. The microphone is very sensitive, so it does sound pretty loud….
Before the tawny left just as it got dark, we captured a clip of her (or him!) preening.
As I type, she is sitting on the perch outside the box. We will have to wait and see tomorrow brings… I will be on my phone first thing in the morning!