We have 4 tawny eggs and otters visiting almost every night!
It has been an exciting week! I have regularly been logging remotely onto the tawny box at Yew View and was delighted to see that our female had laid another egg, taking us up to four, for the first time! Tawnies usually lay 2-3 eggs and I feel that this 4th egg is an indication of both her health and the health of the local environment. The eggs were laid over a week:
- Egg 1- 23rd Feb
- Egg 2- 25th feb
- Egg 3 – 28th Feb
- Egg 4 – 3rd March
She did not start incubating in earnest until just before the 3rd egg was laid, which means about a 4 day difference hatch times. This will impact massively on the final owlet to hatch, as it will be much smaller than its siblings, making survival difficult. It will be totally incredible if this pair manage to raise 4 owlets and it is certainly possible, but unlikely, I fear. Only time will tell!
The eggs will be due to hatch somewhere around March 26th.
I had SO much lovely footage this week, it was hard to decide what to save. I have chosen some highlights. The male has brought back in a few ice this week, along with other prey items to feed the female whilst she incubates…
Our first view of three eggs…..
… more supper!
This mouse came in not long after the last one. Tawnies will stash food in the box if they are not hungry. This footage is from two different angles….
The female is sitting very tight on the eggs, keeping them warm via a brood patch. This is where she has removed the feathers underneath so there is skin contact with the eggs, to keep them warm. You can see her stretch up to expose this area, and then shuffle down to ensure there is maximum warm contact…..
We catch our first view of the fourth egg!
The male did not appear with food for a while, so the female left briefly. She came back with a bird. She may have caught this herself or the male may have done a food pass to her outside the box. I am unsure as to the species of this bird…
It is just wonderful to watch this tawny on her eggs… she is so careful as she gently moves them underneath her….
The male has been day roosting in one of the two other owl boxes we have on site. Here he is in our eco-box.
As if all the excitement in the tawny box wasn’t enough this week, we have had almost daily visits by the otters! The camera platform had moved slightly, meaning that when he ran over it, it tilted. This gave for some interesting footage this week!
Plans are firmly underway for our Yew View otter holt….. with cameras of course…. watch this space!