My Barn Owl Dream Unfolds

I can hardly believe it was only Sunday I put up my barn owl box. The visits have gradually been increasing, with both coming to the nest box on Tuesday night and then last night, the pair spent over half an hour in the nest box , grooming and  preening and looking surprisingly chilled!! Another 3 visits during the darkness hours indicates they’re very interested! I can hardly dare hope for more, but as each night passes and they return, I  can’t help my mind rushing forward, thinking of eggs… and owlets!

I have a lot of footage and will try to edit some of it over the coming days, but I know there is a lot of interest in this nest box, so I wanted to share it as it happens!

Here is one of the shorter clips of both birds in the nest box. The light you can see outside is the Bushnell triggering….

With a branch very close to the entrance, I set the Bushnell HD Max up outside the nest box, with the 46cm close-up lens on last night, so I could see if there was activity outside the nest box as well as inside. I also set one up below the nest box, facing upwards. I was hoping to see how much time they were spending outside the box. I had not quite anticipated how tall the owls were and ended up with lots of footage of their amazing legs, feet and talons and not much of their heads! Just listen to the hissing the male is making on the first clip as he calls the female inside! It takes a few seconds for the IR to adjust to the close proximity of the owl so close to the cam. A white bird and IR is a bit of a nightmare… but the new Bushnell NatureView copes pretty well I think. Make sure you watch them in full HD!!

and here is one of it preening its foot…. look at those talons!

Seeing this footage was too close, I climbed back up, bolted an arm onto the tree and re-mounted the Bushnell NatureView so it is now about 1.5m away. This gives a view of the whole front of the box and should give a better image. We will find out in the morning as the male has already been in twice this evening! 

The image in the box is a little dark for my liking, even though there is a IR array in there. It is a difficult balancing act as I do not want to burn out the owls, which will happen if the IR is too harsh. I have a new cam to mount in there tomorrow, providing they don’t choose to roost in there just yet. I also have a small version of the HD Vivotek cams I have on my feeders and I am going to attempt to get that in there too, but it will be a bit more of a challenge. I will also sort out the sound so my recordings will record the amazing noises these owls are making.

It is a true privilege to have these iconic birds show an interest in the home I have created for them and it will be equally wonderful to be able to share the journey with all my followers. I have been amazed at the interest and all the wonderful comments I have had over the last few days.

I have decided to name my owls Tyto (male) and Alba (female). This is the latin name for the Barn owl. I am aiming to write some children’s books this year and using the latin name would mean children might remember it! 

Hopefully tomorrow will bring some more footage and more excitement in the WildlifeKate patch…. not sure I can cope with much more!