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Barn Owls Can't Wait to Start a Family - Even in Winter 🦉

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Robert E Fuller

Barn owls Willow & Ghost nested so early this year, there was still snow on the ground when they laid their eggs.

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QUICK TO START THE SEASON
And it was a quick turnaround from one breeding season to the next. No sooner had this barn owl pair’s first chicks fledged the nest, then were beginning the breeding process again.

FIRST THEY MUST CHASE AWAY THEIR FIRST CHICKS
But before they could start a new family, barn owl’s Willow & Ghost had to chase their first chicks, Ginger, Cinnamon & Close away from the territory. This is quite normal behaviour for barn owls.

THEN IT'S TIME TO SECURE THE NEST
Before long Willow is seen scraping a new nest inside Sycamore Stump. This nest is a particular favourite of Willow’s and she was very raising her chicks last season because she waited for this nest to become available. Perhaps she is nesting early this year to make sure she doesn’t miss out on this nest again.

THIS MEANS BEING PREPARED TO FIGHT
But she still has to fight for this spot. Watch what happens when another barn owl and a kestrel pair comes too close to the nest.

AND LAYING SHARPISH
Willow wastes no time in securing the nest – and lays her first egg in January! Barn owls normally lay in spring so this is extremely unusual.

MALE FINN KEEPS UP SUPPLIES
Incubating this early has its hardships. For instance there is usually less food available. But the male Ghost works hard and as the eggs are laid, one every two to three days, he keeps up a constant supply of food for the busy mumtobe.

NEXT TIME
Subscribe to my channel to get a notification of the next episode – when the chicks hatch during fierce winter storms.

#barnowls #robertefuller #wildlife

I am a British wildlife artist based in Thixendale, North Yorkshire, UK. I build ideal habitats to encourage wildlife into my garden and use nest cams to study their behaviour. These studies inform my paintings. I share the best of my video research on this channel for free. If you would like to support my work please consider a small donation here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s...'>https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s...

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© Robert E Fuller

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