• Gordon Wilcock

Tawny Owl Project

March 29th, 2021

The last 4 months or so have been taken up with a project involving the Tawny Owls in the wood that I have referred to previously. After they took up an interest in the Tawny Owl nest box sited in a tree on the edge of the wood i put up a perch nearby, and baited it several times a week with dead mice hoping it would become a favourite place for them. This was successful but it took around 3 to 4 weeks before they used it most nights. Once this became a regular pattern of behaviour I was able to set up the camera and trigger system to catch static poses on the branches of the perch and adjacent branches, and also flight shots. Some of these have been added to the owl page in the portfolio but here are a couple:

The Tawnies also used this perch for their mating routine and I managed to capture some of this on the photograph below.

Unfortunately this all came to an untimely end as a pair of squirrels kept harassing them in the nest box, - I have videoclips from a trail camera which shows this going on. Eventually the owls decamped which is a pity because I think that they had started to lay as the male was often on the box's integral perch communicating with the female in the box using a very un-owl type of call to which she responded. I also noticed that the female had started to visit my perch using a new routine.

I will be keeping an eye open for their return and will add to this blog if it occurs.

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