This is a not-good post which I have delayed making. My barn owls are dead. Since they move in, they have been here and last year, gloriously, they raise two clutches of babies. They were till here in early January – though worryingly less active. For the last three weeks, silence. The only possible explanation is that they are dead.
They are not a long-lived species, not in the wild. High winds, rain make it hard for those silent feathers to fly. The same beguiling ability to over-fly a human, with no noise until the breathy voice give them away,make them especially liable to get soaked, cold,and immobile in heavy rain. Then, snow complicates hunting by hiding the mice. An you cannot feed a barn owl, they only take live prey.
The net result is, this year my beloved owls have died. And there was nothing I could do.
My only consolation is that one of the young male they bred i till alive, and living further down the road. I ee him from time to time. If, if he managed to breed, then hi children might, might just move in here. Anyhow my dear dead owls did manage to pass their little spark of life on.