The outlaw owlets seemed quite happy yesterday (Monday, February 24) to just hang out in their new environment.
We have no idea what it means to be happy if you are an owlet but it sure looks to us humans that they appear pretty darn comfortable. (Anthropomorphism aside.) They did not venture out from the crook of the tree. They seemed quite content to snuggle together in their new digs. They are very alert if we go out to check on them but do not seem at all stressed, no clacking or hissing. As a matter of fact, when they are snoozing, they don’t even look up.
The parents are SO not worried about them anymore. Have they abdicated to us? We did not catch sight of them delivering dinner last night but there was a lot going on at our house and we were distracted (by humans). We did hear the adults hooting at dusk and the twins were squawking, letting Mom and Dad know they were hungry. We, on the other hand, are starting to get worried that Ma and Pa are going to go on vacation since they now have full time babysitters. I guess then Scott and I will have to catch the rats!
Everyday we see significant changes. They grow bigger over night! Their grownup feathers are developing. They have been preening themselves and spreading their wings out once in a while. Testing? Balancing? Checking out their new feathers?
Now here is a real treat. My friend Vanessa just stopped in to take some photographs. She is a professional photographer, an owl lover and lives in my neighborhood! How lucky is that? She just emailed me this fantastic photo. Visit her website.
Since we can see them clearly from our living room, porch and kitchen we are pretty much keeping an eye on them all the time. It’s hard to get anything else done! When I am working at the computer, my husband Scott, gives me blow by blow commentary on their actions:“The little one is pecking at a mouse”. “The big one is trying to swallow the rat whole”. “They’re standing up.” “The big one is cleaning its feathers”. “Mom just delivered a fresh rat”. You get the idea.
I wish I could get a photo of them preening. But every time I go out to get the shot, they stop and look at me. We were surprised that all day yesterday, they stayed nestled in their new pad. Maybe all the excitement of falling out of prior nests (2) and getting knocked off branches tuckered them out. All in all, one or the other or both fell seven times! Who needs a parachute?
Since my husband is working today and I am not getting constant commentary, I moved to the back porch with computer, camera and binoculars to write and observe. It is about noon. They are much more active today. Very busy preening. I can see remnants of breakfast on the edge of the nest, evidence that Mom and Dad are feeding them and neither perturbed nor perplexed by Jack and Jill’s relocation. Guess they are saving it for an afternoon snack.
There has not been a code red “OUTLET DOWN” since Sunday morning. They have been safe and secure in their new environment for over 48 hours. What a relief! I wonder when they will start investigating the branches? Maybe we should leave the ladders out just in case!