Friday, March 18, 2016

A fussy tawny owl

This female tawny owl is being particularly fussy. The male wants her to nest in a particular nest box close to where I have been leaving food out for it. It suits the male to choose this box to nest in as he knows there will be a constant supply of food here and it suits me as I have hidden cameras in the box so that I can watch what happens once the eggs are laid and chicks hatched.

But so far she won't comply.  Every night for the last month or so the male has perched outside this box calling out in a gentle ocarina trill, the continuous cooing sound made by males to attract females, but she has ignored him.

I finally caught the moment when she deigned to have a look round on camera. She flies into the box carrying a woodmouse, which I suspect is an offering from the male and appears to glance round briefly before tucking into the mouse.

But she doesn't get stuck in. Instead she leaves the mouse, gives the nest box a second brief inspection, spinning her head round to size up its possibilities, and then leaves.

This doesn't look too hopeful! She's being very fussy and I've noticed she keeps going in to other nest boxes in the area as if she's trying to say, "Look this one's much better," He's been very patient!

Watch the video here:

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