The story begins as this tawny owl pair search for a suitable site to start a family. When they return to last year's nest, they have to fight barn owl Gylfie for it. But the battle is worth it this nest is special to Luna. This is where she grew up as a fostered owl.
Tawny owl eggs
Luna goes on to lay 3 eggs, each 64 hours apart. Look out for Bomber's joyful reaction when he spots the first one.
After 30 days of incubation, it was clear that Luna's eggs were not going to hatch. Later I shine a torch through them and see they were never viable.
Time to act
While a pair of jackdaws lay siege to the nest, blocking the tawny owl mum inside, I am called out to rescue two tawny owl chicks that have fallen from a straw stack.
The owls need a mum, and Luna needs babies so I open the back of the nest to let Luna out and clear the sticks. Then I place the chicks inside in hopes that she will return.
Luna welcomes the orphans
Hours later Luna flies back to the nest and spots the owlets. She rushes over and wraps them under her wings as if they were her own. Later Bomber meets them and his reaction is equally touching.
But the threat from the jackdaws isn't over and soon they have trapped the family inside. Luna is visibly distressed. Without my help, all three owls would surely die.
Luna, so delighted to be a mum at last, barely allows Bomber a moment with the chicks. So possessive over them, she pushes him away whenever he arrives with food or tries to spend time with them.
Chicks grow fast
With all this love and attention the chicks grow up fast and it isn't long before they take their first peeks outside the nest and flap their wings, ready to fly.
Before they go, BTO licenced bird ringer Jean Thorpe of Ryedale Rehabilitation arrives to clip ID rings on their legs. These are individually numbered and help track owl populations across the country.
Luna acts as a teacher, encouraging the first chick (named Dusk by our livestream fans) to hop to a nearby branch before launching off into the trees.
More foster chicks
Just as Bomber & Luna's work is done, 3 more tawny owl chicks are handed in. Luna instantly welcomes the first, but it takes the owl parents a few days to realise there are more. Then a third rescue arrives from Doncaster. We nickname him Donny and watch with delight as he is accepted by the family.
All 6 owlets fly free
As I watch all 6 owlets flit through the trees it's incredible to think back at their incredible journey.
ABOUT ME ____________
I am a British wildlife artist and filmmaker on a mission to share my love for wildlife with the world. As well as creating detailed animal film and art portraits, I promote wildlife tours around the world and do all I can to help conserve and protect wildlife here at my home in Yorkshire. I hope that by putting nature in the frame I can foster a deep love for wildlife amongst my followers.
You may like to purchase my artwork which you can find on my website: https://www.robertefuller.com. Many of my paintings are portraits of the wonderful characters you watch here!
You can also follow me on these platforms: Website: https://www.robertefuller.com Facebook: / robertefullerart Twitter: / robertefuller Instagram: / robertefuller
00:00 Meet Luna 00:11 Owls Search for Place To Nest 00:42 Fight for Nest 01:31 Luna's Adoption Story 04:32 Luna Lays First Egg 08:38 Eggs Fail 08:39 Jackdaw Siege 09:03 Rescuing Two Tawny Owlets 09:44 Placing Owlets with Luna 11:51 Luna Welcomes Owlets 13:32 Owlets Meet Foster Father 15:22 Jackdaw Trap 20:47 Luna Possessive of Chicks 24:00 Chick's Get ID Rings 29:15 Chick's First Look Outside 30:31 Allopreening 32:25 Flying Lessons 37:24 More Tawny Orphans 43:07 Final Rescue 46:23 Helping Feed Owlets
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