Saturday, 25 June 2011

More owls

 Adult female Short-Eared Owl

The are high numbers of grey-sided voles in northern Scandinavia at the moment and consequently the owls are breeding well, rearing large broods of chicks on the abundant food supply. Yesterday I saw Hawk Owls with a large brood, today I saw a brood of seven Short-Eared Owls.

 Short-Eared Owls have beautiful big yellow eyes

Owl chicks are of different ages, by a day or so between each. This is because the female begins to incubate as soon as the first egg is laid. In a brood of seven there is a large range of ages and sizes of the chicks. In this nest there were only four chicks still in the nest. The other three had wondered into the nearby shrubbery, which all helps to ensure that if the nest is brood are attacked by a predator, at least some chicks should survive.

Four owlets in the ground nest of a Short-Eared Owl
with a grey-sided vole at the side - supplied entirely
by the male bird

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