28th – We received an e-mail this morning to say that no owls have been seen for four days, so sadly this will be the last Diary entry.
Thank you to everyone who took the time and patience to send us e-mails and update us on what they had seen. It’s been an exciting experience sharing the highs and lows of the Barn Owls in the nest box with viewers all over the world. The sadness when the third owlet died apparently of starvation, at only twenty-five days old; the agonisingly slow development of the youngest owlet; the very wet summer that we have experienced in Devon this year and now finally, the immense satisfaction in knowing that the remaining three have fledged and dispersed to find their own home range.
We were extremely lucky with this brood; from the preliminary data that we have collected to date, the average brood size has been just 2.1 owlets, so concern over the development of the youngest owlet was fully justified.
Next year we hope to be broadcasting images once again, in 2008 the camera went live on 15th April, so keep checking the web site from the beginning of April 2009 and we’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening.
Within the next few weeks the web cam will be broadcasting images of two Barn Owls that we are unable to release. They are kept in a natural setting at the Barn Owl Trust‘s base in Devon (UK); we hope that you will all enjoy watching them.
Best wishes to you all from your friends at The Barn Owl Trust. Goodbye for now.
22nd – We have received confirmation that an adult owl was seen bringing food into the barn last night and that two owlets were waiting on the beam to be fed. The weather forecast for the next few days is dry with only the possibility of a small amount of rain on Saturday night. This will allow the adult birds to go out hunting so hopefully, there should be plenty to watch in the barn over the next few evenings.
21st – The question that we are being asked most often is ‘could the youngest owl be receiving food out of camera range?’ Again, this is a difficult question to answer with any degree of certainty because the Barn Owls are wild. It is possible that if the youngest owlet is the only bird the parent birds are feeding, they will take the food to wherever in the barn it is roosting. Also a delivery of food can take less than a minute so unless you are able to watch the birds without interruption it is possible that it can be missed.
The oldest owlet hasn’t been seen for the last three or four days and may have left to find its own home range now, so we assume that the two owlets that are occasionally seen in the barn are the youngest two. We expect the second owlet to leave any day now as well, but the youngest owlet should be around for a while longer.
The long-range weather forecast is still looking promising for the next few days.
19th – Thank you for your e-mail responses to our query yesterday; the general consensus of opinion is that there have been very few food deliveries to the owlets over the weekend. In the southwest of England, August has been one of the wettest since records began which has made it extremely difficult for the adult owls to go out hunting. The long-range weather forecast for the next few days is looking more promising so we hope that the parent owls will be able to resume hunting for longer periods.
18th – We have received an image of three owls together in the barn this weekend. The oldest owlet is thirteen weeks old and without physically examining the owls it is now impossible to differentiate between the adults and the owlets, because of this we cannot say with any certainty if this was the three owlets or a combination of the adult birds and the owlets.
We have also had an e-mail saying that there has been no delivery of food for the youngest owlet over the weekend; did anyone see the adult owls delivering food?
15th – During the day an owlet – most probably the youngest one – can often still be seen on the beams in the barn, its favoured place seems to be to the left of the nestbox. Last night two of the owlets were seen waiting on the tray to be fed.
14th – On Tuesday evening only two owlets were waiting to be fed on the tray of the nestbox and last evening there was only one. This may mean that the two older owlets have now dispersed to find their own home range or it could be that we weren’t watching at the right time. Did anyone else see them?
13th – The weather in the Southwest continues to be very wet, prompting many e-mails expressing concern about how long the owlets can survive if the parent owls are unable to find food for them. With a question like this it is difficult to answer precisely, but the adult birds have successfully fledged three owlets and of the nest sites that we have been monitoring this year, two is the average number of owlets to survive to this stage. From this we assume that the adult birds are either experienced birds that are better at catching what food is available or that there is a plentiful supply of food around the area where the nestbox is situated. Parent owls will take the opportunity of a break in the weather to go out to hunt, so although weather has an impact it is also important that there is a readily available supply of food.
When the owlets disperse there are a variety of factors that will impact on where they go and what hazards they will face in the next stage of their lives. For more information please look on our web site: from the Home page, choose About the Barn Owl/The annual life cycle/ Autumn – dispersal of young.
12th – Thank you for all your e-mails confirming that the parent owls are still bringing food in for the owlets.
The three owlets could be seen yesterday evening at approximately 11pm, on the exercise platform waiting to be fed. This seems to be a good time to see them all together. Unfortunately, this sight is something that we can only hope to see for a short while longer. Owlets generally disperse from the nest site to find their own home range when they are between 12-14 weeks old and the oldest owlet is now 12 weeks and 3 days old.
8th – During the day we do not often see any of the owlets in the nestbox but all three of them can still be seen in the barn. The weather in the South West of England has been very wet recently; can anyone confirm if the parent owls are bringing food into the barn? Fortunately, today the sun is shining which means that you may be receiving the images from the barn in colour.
We are currently undertaking some exciting research into juvenile dispersal by fitting tiny transmitters to fledgling Barn Owls. Follow the link on the right, which will give you more information.
It has been gratifying to know that our Barn Owl nestbox has brought enjoyment to people all over the world, and that we have all learnt so much about these beautiful birds. To the right is a link telling you about the other work we do. Our website is full of interesting information, slide shows and free downloadable leaflets. I hope you enjoy exploring it.
3rd – Thank you all for the numerous e-mails we received to confirm that finally, on Saturday 2nd August the youngest owlet flew from the top of the nestbox to the beam at the back of the barn. We have also received an image of all three owlets together in a row on the same beam.
We have been asked if the oldest owlet will now be hunting for itself. It takes a long time before owlets become capable of catching small mammals efficiently; the earliest recorded attempt for an owlet to try to catch prey from height is documented at sixty-five days and the first definite prey capture is documented at seventy-two days. However, both of these records are referring to owlets catching invertebrates. It has been documented that parent owls can go on feeding all the owlets in a nest until the youngest owlet is eighty-five days old.
After reading our Nestcam Diary entry of 28th July many of you have asked how we sexed the owlets. This information as well as much more, can be found on our free, downloadable information leaflets. To find these hold the pointer of your mouse over Information & Downloads on the green bar at the top of our Home page. This will bring up another menu, from this select Free information leaflets, and then choose Other Barn Owl Information. On the right hand side of the page there are links to a variety of documents for you to read .
29th – The youngest owlet is being very energetic jumping up at all corners of the box and even trying to get up the slope to where the camera is positioned! No idea why. Perhaps she just enjoys it?
28th – Due to concern about the development of the smallest owlet we carried out a nest inspection and weighed and measured all three today. We also took the opportunity to clean the camera lens – hence the improvement in image quality. The eldest and youngest owlets are definitely female and the middle one is probably female too. Whilst the eldest owlet has developed normally (full wing length by 70 days old), the younger two are both late. The middle one has the wing length of a 63 day-old but is actually 70 days old and the smallest has the wing length of a 54 day-old but is actually 66 days old. It’s also still quite fluffy.
Looking back at measurements taken at the time of ringing (17th June), we find that even at only 25 days old the smallest owlet was already nine days late in its development (ie its wing length suggested it was 16 days old).
Barn Owl literature states that wing feather growth provides an accurate estimate of chick age but this brood shows that considerable developmental variation can occur.
In spite of this there appears to be no cause for concern. All the young were in very good condition and the smallest was full of food.
Many thanks for your emails – we do read all of them but unfortunately we don’t have time to answer them all individually. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day!
24th – the youngest owlet was out of the box again last night, and one of our viewers tells us that it was trying to get onto the lid of the nestbox. We still haven’t actually seen it fly though and would be grateful to receive details of its first flight – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you see this happen.
23rd – this morning all three owlets were out of the box and sitting on the tray. The youngest owlet had previously spent some time out of the box last night too.
Some viewers have emailed us expressing concern about the youngest owlet’s behaviour – it has been lying down a lot today. We are as sure as we can be that the owlet is receiving sufficient food. This is not new, as the oldest owlet was seen exhibiting similar behaviour in early June – see Nestcam Diary entry for 6th June.
22nd – the oldest two owlets are still spending much of their time in and around the nestbox but have apparently already ventured outside the barn.
The barn owners have reported that both older owlets have now been seen flying around the farmyard and the garden. The oldest took a turn around the garden, landing on the garden wall just yards from their window. The second owlet was also watched flying circuits around the farmyard. Both these owlets have landed on the floor of the yard as well.
The oldest owlet is now nine and a half weeks old. The young generally disperse at between 12 to 14 weeks old so probably not long to go now.
It’s surprising that at eight and a half weeks old the youngest owlet is still half covered in down. It’s also interesting to note that the oldest owlet made its first flight at 8 weeks old but we haven’t seen the youngest one fly yet. If anyone sees the youngest owlet take its first flight, we’d be grateful if you could email us here at email@example.com with the subject line “Youngest owlet flying” with the time and date. Many thanks.
20th The white blob in front of the nest camera is still present and occasionally you can see the spider move across the lens. Sorry folks! We do intend to sort it out but are rather concerned about flushing the owlets out of the building at this stage. The smallest owlet appears to be doing well and has ventured out of the box several times already.
19th YES! At Last! At about 5 am the smallest owlet finally made it out of the box and onto the exercise platform. Some viewers are still unaware of why the entrance/exit hole is so high up. It’s to keep the owlets safe – if you’re not convinced you may like to take a look at this slideshow: Fallen owlets from poorly designed nestboxes and read this webpage: Poor nestbox design.
17th The sudden appearance of a strange light in the corner of the nestcam is, we think a spider’s web/nest that is in front of the camera lens. The movement is the spider crawling across the lens. We are reluctant to go into the building at present as the two oldest owlets have not left the barn yet and we do not want to risk flushing them out. Again we will monitor the owlets’ activity and will review the situation.
16th We have received a report from a viewer that one of the older owlets brought a large rodent into the nestbox at I.30am, The smallest owlet took it and ate it about 30minutes later. They also saw at 14.39pm another small mammal being brought into the nestbox by one of the older owlets, the smallest owlet grabbed that one too and had eaten it by 14.53pm. It seems that the older owlets are bringing in the small mammals from the tray outside the nestbox.
The youngest owlet has been observed huddled in the corner with its back turned consuming a prey item with its siblings ‘looking on’ eagerly. It has been desperately trying to jump up to the hole, so far without success. The eldest owlet is spending a lot of time outside the nest box but the middle one is still spending considerable time with the youngest.
16th – 11PM Smallest owlet in nestbox has food(!) and the two bigger ones are back at the box again.
Evening – Second owlet now flying and both the older owlets have flown beyond the view of barncam. It’s possible that the eldest owlet has already ventured outside the barn (at 59 days old). By nine weeks (63 days old) it will be flying quite well.
Late AM – Some worried people have contacted us to say that the youngest one is short of food and asking us to step in. However, we are reliably informed that the youngest owlet was seen eating a prey item at 11.45am so we don’t think there is any need to intervene at present. Although it hasn’t managed to get out of the box yet it is looking alert and healthy. We will continue to remotely monitor the situation. Please do bear in mind that these owls are in the wild and not in our care. You may like to read our diary entry for the 25th June.
15th – We have been reliably informed that the youngest owlet received food last night in the form of a large mouse or vole. It also apparently received food the night before too. To a certain extent this has allayed our fears that it wasn’t receiving sufficient food but we are continuing to monitor the situation. Hopefully, it should be able to get out of the box any day now.
14th – After spending the early part of the day out on the tray of the box the two oldest owlets have joined the smallest one and spent hours huddled in a big heap in the box.
13th – We saw the largest owlet flying for the first time whilst the middle owlet stood on the tray watching with great interest. The smallest one still hasn’t got out of the box.
12th – Report of oldest owlet taking its first flights around 8.15 pm
11th – We held our Neighbour’s Night – 30 people that live locally joined us for a walk in the LLP field and on our return to the office we were able to show them the “cams”. Both the larger owlets were in view on top of the nest box on the Barncam. The smallest one could be seen in the box on the Nestcam. Later in the evening it was repeatedly jumping up at the hole, unsuccessfully trying to join its siblings.
10th – Report that one of the older owlets brought food into the nest and gave it to the smallest one.
9th – Another dramatic night for our webcam viewers when the middle owlet eventually managed to get out of the hole, and dropped right off the side of the tray…. Alerted by viewers, we organised a visit to the barn, but the owlet couldn’t be found. As soon as our intrepid volunteer left the building the oldest owlet was out of the box and back on the tray looking down at the floor, which indicated the middle one had come out of hiding. Lots of phone calls and the building was searched again. It still couldn’t be found. Meanwhile lots of folks from all over the world were emailing the Trust to make sure we were aware of the situation and to find out what was going on….. Those emails are being checked, so thank you everyone. Eventually an adult came into the barn carrying food. Instead of delivering the food to the nestbox and the two excited owlets waiting, it swooped down to the floor but didn’t feed the owlet – moments later the adult was glimpsed on the far side of the nestbox, still holding the food. It then vanished into the darkness as the volunteer, with reinforcements (there were now two of them), came back to search again. Third time lucky and the owlet was picked up and popped back in the box, seemingly no worse for its adventure. Later on it was back out on the tray again with its older sibling, the youngest one looking longingly at the hole and wanting to get out there too. We didn’t see any successful food deliveries after that but it was great to see all three safely nestled in the box this morning. It’s raining here again ………
Lots of you have emailed to say how much you are enjoying our webcams and asking us to do it again next year – many thanks for all your positive feedback. We think it’s great too! In reality we are a very small charity and so far Nestcam and Barncam have cost the Trust several thousand pounds. Is there anyone out there who would like to make a contribution or fund next year’s web cams? Let’s hope so!
Until yesterday we managed to answer all your emails individually but we are now getting so many that this is no-longer possible. If you don’t get a reply please do accept our apologies. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
7th – at 5.30pm this afternoon after several failed attempts at jumping up at the hole, the eldest owlet finally managed to get up and out of the box. It spent 5 minutes sitting on the tray having its first look around the barn, with its siblings still in the nestbox staring intently at the hole. During the evening it emerged several more times and the second owlet found this incredibly exciting and was desperately trying to get out of the hole and not quite making it. You might be wondering why we put the entrance hole so high – we did it on purpose. The idea is to stop the young emerging from the box too soon, thus reducing the danger of them falling to the ground and dying.
The adults were very active and there were at least 4 prey deliveries before it got dark, which caused great excitement amongst the owlets. The smallest one even managed to steal a food item from the largest, and swallowed it whole. Within the next few days, all of the owlets will be out of the box, and you’ll probably want to start watching Barncam. We are very keen to record the dates the younger owlets get out of the box and the dates of their first flights too. Please do email firstname.lastname@example.org with any observations.
The owlets will continue to be dependent on the adults for food for some weeks after they have fledged, and we expect food deliveries to continue at the barn for some weeks to come.
6th – lots of wing exercising over the weekend from the eldest owlet and a growing curiosity towards the access hole.
2nd – we checked the owlets in the nestbox yesterday and all three were well-fed and in good condition, despite the recent inclement weather overnight.
1st – one of our viewers has informed us that she watched the biggest owlet jumping up to the hole immediately after one of the adults left the box. Apparently it tried a few times then gave up. It is now just over 6 weeks old. We are very keen to record the age of the owlet that first manages to get out of the nest box. If you witness this, please do let us know by emailing email@example.com
30th – Problems with the encoding dropping out seem to have settled down again (thank goodness) but there have been some strange goings-on in the nestbox. Earlier this evening an adult came in and all four birds became highly excited (flapping and leaping) in spite of the fact that no food was delivered(?). The owlets are now starting to lose their white fluffy down and every time they flap bits of fluff are flying around inside the box and sticking to cobwebs in some places.
Fairly soon we expect that the eldest owlet will try jumping up at the entrance hole and we are very keen to find out when he/she manages to get out for the first time. The hole is over 40cm above nest level. This ‘deep’ nestbox design helps to prevent the young emerging prematurely. To find out more watch the slideshow >
25th – So far so good! All three still doing well. Sorry we haven’t updated the diary for four days. We’ve been extremely busy visiting other nest sites (we have c.75 sites we check every June) and dealing with Live Owl Emergency Calls – mostly rescuing fallen owlets. Today we’ve been answering all your emails too.
Someone asked – will we intervene? This is a difficult issue. On the one hand we want to let nature take its course and it was always our intention to let you see exactly what happens in a natural situation. On the other hand, we do put a lot of effort into saving the lives of individual birds (casualties etc.) so why not try and save all the Nestcam nestlings?
Provided that the amount of mortality is typical of what happens in the wild we intend to let nature take its course. However, if no food was arriving at all and the young were dying then obviously we would intervene. However, this could be a real problem as the site is over 40 miles away! Fingers crossed!
21st – Midsummer’s day…. although you’d never believe it. It has rained and rained and rained in the South West and we are getting quite concerned that the adults can’t hunt. We haven’t seen any food deliveries since the evening of the 19th, although that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any. Fortunately the forecast is good for tomorrow.
19th – The image was lost (encoding dropped out) several times last night and today – sorry folks there’s nothing more we can do. Hopefully it’ll settle down again very soon. In the meantime, just keep clicking ‘refresh’ on your toolbar.
Viewers comments are providing some interesting insights into human nature(!). One person expressed concern that the little anniversary sign we had put up would disrupt the owls(!) but as you can see they show no reaction at all. Someone expressed concern that the rings we have fitted may not allow room for growth. In fact, at this age the owlets ankles are fatter than those of adults.
We’ve had an interesting variety of observations reported but nothing conclusive regarding the fate of owlet three on the 16th. It is possible that the female stopped tearing up food for the smallest owlets rather prematurely and this may be due to inexperiance on her part as previously mentioned. Our visits to other nests are finding lots of broods of two and three this year.
Last nights prolonged rainfall would have prevented the adults from hunting. We did see some left-over food items being eaten but only by the biggest owlet. It is possible that the smallest owlet won’t make it. On average, Barn Owls in this area lay 5.6 eggs, 4.8 hatch, brood size is three, and 2.6 young fledge successfully. As these figures show, mortality in the nest is very common.
17th – Today we carried out a nest inspection; BTO ringed the owlets and the adult female, and removed the body of the dead owlet.
As we suspected, the owlet that died was not the smallest (it was the second smallest) and it appears to have died of starvation. This is a bit of a mystery given that we have seen plenty of prey deliveries and there were five uneaten food items in the nest today. As well as fitting BTO metal rings that ask the finder to report them, we have colour-ringed them so you can identify the individuals.
The adult female has a lime green over the metal (BTO) ring on the left ankle and lime green on the right (these will just look pale in B&W). The eldest owlet has black over BTO on the left and black on the right. The second eldest has black over grey on the right, and the youngest has grey over black on the right.
The owlet’s death might be related to the behaviour of the adult female. If she’s not a very experienced breeder she may have failed to feed it properly (there is some evidence that older birds breed more successfully). Unfortunately the female was not in moult and so we were unable to determine her age with any certainty.
16th – first fatality – one of the smaller owlets has died overnight. This is surprising as there appeared to be plenty of food deliveries in spite of the fact that the last few nights have been rather chilly for the time of year. If you were watching Nestcam last night and saw anything unusual please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
12th – the female is spending less and less time in the nestbox with the owlets and more and more time roosting in the barn, either on the tray or behind the box on a beam. It is now only the youngest bird that still needs to be fed, with the other three all able to consume whole rodents themselves with no assistance.
9th – This is fantastic (!) but lets hope the food supply continues. At this stage the eldest owlet is physically capable of swallowing the youngest… it happened last year at Heligan and was shown live on BBC Springwatch… in that case the owlets were starving because the male had vanished. Fortunately our male is doing a really well. However we are still in a very crucial period. The lives of these owlets (especially the smallest one) hangs in the balance…
8th – excellent views of all four owlets this morning, clearly showing the size difference between the oldest and youngest individuals.
6th – still four owlets, confirmed today at 10.00am. The eldest owlet spends more and more time wandering around the nestbox on its own or lies on its back at roost staring at the ceiling!
The female left the owlets in the box and sat on the tray at roost for a good couple of hours this afternoon.
2nd – the young birds are growing fast and it won’t be long before the female won’t have to spend so much time brooding the owlets as they develop a down which allows them to thermo-regulate (regulate their own body temperature).
31st – Female leaving the young uncovered for short periods. Food deliveries quite sporadic probably due to the frequent wet weather preventing the male hunting. Female went out and returned with a Field Vole later in the evening, possibly provided by the male off camera. She offiered it to the eldest owlet, which ate it whole. Let’s hope all four make it!
29th – Four! Our first definite sighting of four owlets since the 25th. Female left the box just before 9pm and we watched her on Barncam, she flew up and down the barn for six minutes and then went back to brooding the young. Eldest now 12 days old and just starting to move around quite a bit but not yet up on its feet.
10:20pm Fantastic views of the female feeding the young. Male brought in three food items in 20 minutes! Food presentation no longer followed by mating.
11:15pm She’s been feeding the young constantly now for 55 mins and the male has just delivered another food item. That’s four in under an hour.
10:50pm Reduced contrast and brightness very slightly to improve clarity of image (81/307 to 76/296)
28th – we suspect that the female & brood may be a little short of food because of her behaviour this morning. Prolonged rainfall may have prevented the male hunting. Three owlets are certainly still alive but we have not have a clear enough view to be certain about the fourth owlet. Fingers crossed!
27th – problems with the image encoding “dropping out” several times during the day. Now (7:30pm) it won’t work at all! Sorry folks. We’re on the case. Try again later. The owlets will be in the nest for at least another 8 weeks.
10:50pm – both Nestcam and Barncam working again – thanks Alan!
26th – The eldest owlet is now nine days old.
We’ve added links to a couple more slideshows >
“Pictures of owlet growth” will enable you to judge the age of the owlets as they develop. There are over seventy different slideshows on the Barn Owl Trust website! Have fun watching Nestcam and Barncam…
25th – Fourth owlet seen yesterday evening. So, the long process of incubation is over. Interesting to note how the eggs have moved around the box over the past five weeks. She started off on the right below the entrance hole, by half way through incubation she’d gradually moved to the left hand side and now she’s back on the right again!
The next few weeks are crucial. At this tender age the owlets cannot withstand long periods of food shortage. The male will need to provide increasing amounts of food over the next two weeks then the female will probably start leaving the young and both adults will bring food in.
24th AM – looks like the fourth and final egg has hatched but we havn’t seen all four owlets yet. Remarkably, Barncam is still working most of the time and you can see where the male is roosting.
23rd – the three young appear to be doing well, one egg still to go. Barncam is working most of the time and should provide great views when the young start to emerge (hopefully in early July).
22nd – third egg hatched bang on time. This is fantastic! One egg still to go. Barncam (the other camera) has been working today but may be on and off quite a lot for the next 10 days or so. 3pm – male roosting just behind the box – seen on Barncam for the first time.
21st – Great views of the female feeding the young! Third egg due to hatch tommorow. Sorry about the image disappearing sometimes. When your screen goes black, wait a while then try “refresh” (the button with two little green arrows) or right click the screen and select “play/pause”. We are waiting for BT to improve the broadband service at the nest site. Barncam should go live well before the owlets start to emerge. In the meantime, enjoy Nestcam!
20th – No worries. Second egg hatched overnight. Male still roosting and mating with female.
19th evening – the second egg hasn’t hatched yet. What’s going on? Is it infertile, dead-in-shell, or just late? Great views of the new owlet being fed by the female.
17th – Hooray! First egg hatched, right on schedule – owlet seen under female with the three remaining eggs. Female extremely attentive. Male still roosting in the box. Next egg due to hatch in two days time.
16th – first egg due to hatch tomorrow if all goes well. Female very attentive as always, turning her clutch regularly.
13th – still major problems today, mostly with Barncam, which has been off-line almost all day. Apologies for this, we are working hard to resolve the problem. Evening – Nestcam still dropping out and having to be manually restarted, sometimes every few minutes. Sorry! Having said that, when it is working, the view and the action is fantastic!
12th – signal interrupted on and off today due to Barncam set up, which should go live any time now. Evening – Nestcam encoding dropped out loads of times (image lost repeatedly) – sorry folks! We are doing our best!
8th – female quite aggressive in her preening of the male this afternoon, pinning him against the side of the box.
7th – female has been turning the eggs regularly and has been ‘tidying up’ the pellets around her as she incubates.
6th – male attentive as ever. Still lots of mutual preening.
2nd – problems with the regional broadband connection meant sporadic coverage this morning but back on-line this afternoon.
1st – birds roosting together today with frequent bouts of mutual preening.
29th – male reappeared last night having roosted elsewhere during the day. At least one successful hunting trip!
28th – still only four eggs. Is the clutch now complete? Male not in the nestbox this morning.
27th – field vole and large rat brought in this evening.
23rd – fourth egg laid this afternoon.
22nd – still three eggs and fantastic live footage! Reduced brightness and contrast in an effort to maximise clarity of image [88/330 to 82/307]
21st – third egg seen for the first time. Image was lost when the encoding dropped out during the night and was restarted just after 9.00am.
18th – the male presented the female with a rat mid-morning, presumably stashed from last night’s foraging, which she eagerly took and consumed shortly after. Second egg laid.
17th – new computer installed at the site and back on-line in the afternoon, both adults in the box and copulating regularly.
16th – first egg laid! Should hatch around the 17th May if all goes well. Technical problems meant the nestcam went down during the evening – faulty ram chip…..
15th – Nestcam went live for the first time. Barncam should go live in May.