Thursday, 22 July 2010

Barn Owls: Dad and his girl

BarnOwl72, originally uploaded by Christopher Mills.
Let's get this show on the road...

For the past three months I've been spending a lot of time at a local farm observing a pair of Barn Owls. They have successfully raised 5 owlets who are now developing their flying and pouncing skills and will no doubt be hunting for their own prey in the near future.

For now, Dad is providing sustenance. Usual pattern is he returns to the nest area and plants himself on a post - then the juveniles take a leap at him in an attempt to get a meal! This sometimes results in rather amusing and ungraceful bumps (quite a contrast to the normal regal way that these birds hold themselves) and occasionally fantastic images.

Here's one of my favourite shots so far - The eldest owlet (a female) comes in to take a vole - I've captured the moment as she plucks it from her father's beak. Of course it could be a peck on the cheek to say thank you for being such a wonderful dad, as all daughters should do every now and then!

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