After the night of giddy exhilaration when I realised I had an owl back in the owl box, I have been up and down over the owls, cursing myself for getting so emotional over things I can do little to influence.
I heard the female calling from her box, and hoped I had a pair of owls. The next morning I saw a female barn owl. That night there was total silence. No owl. Not nowhere. Despair.
Two owl-less days. Then a single owl sighted but little or no owl noise. Owls are silent fliers, but highly sociable with their mates. Where you have two owls they chat a lot, in the case of barn owls, in very breathy voices. I saw the female owl several times.
Sadly, I was forced to the conclusion that I had just one owl here, a female, who had a box and no mate.
Then on Wednesday night, I heard a great deal of owl noise. I stopped, froze, more like, and listened. Two owls in their favourite trees, ones which give a good look-out. An owl repeatedly flying into and out of the owl box, and back to the trees and into the owl box. Later in the evening, two owls, hunting, calling to each other. I think, indeed I am sure, that my female has found her mate.
Last night I had at least one barn owl back. Joy so great I dare not really believe I have a pair or that they will be there tonight – but I think I do, and I really hope they will be.
I went outside as usual about 8pm and I heard it. A long rhythmic wheeze. It is a version the typical food-begging cry of a young bird. It is the cry a female barn owl gives so that her mate will come and feed her: a pair-bonding thing which also improves her bodily condition so she can breed successfully. it was coming from the barn-owl breeding box. it stopped when the beam of my head-light hit the box, and started as I tactfully looked away.
I was overcome with joy, and rushed straight into the house, where I walked straight into the newly painted cupboard. I then got the paint off myself and back onto the cupboard, and went to feed the ponies – still with my mind wholly on the barn owl, so the little mare took full advantage and went into the yard (forbidden territory) and took some persuading to come back in. Sometime later I realised that I had also left the pony feed for today to soak with the tap running full, and by that time I had a sizeable flood and feed flotsam and jetsam.
But who cares?It looks as,it looks very much as if, the barn owls have arrived.
Posted in joy, wild life
Tagged birds, owls