Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Western Screech Owlet is Growing Up: Part 1

Guest post by Dan Weisz

The baby owl is often now looking outside of the nest, exploring its world.  The young does not have vertical black striping like its parents do, nor are the feather tufts (“horns”) on its head developed yet.



Mom will leave the nest box now an hour or so before sunset.  She stays close to the nest to watch out for her young.  You can see the difference in feather coloring compared to her youngster.



When she sees something alarming, she assumes a pose that helps to camouflage her when she is against a tree trunk.  She straightens up and raises those plumicorns. She will blend in against a mesquite trunk, but not so much on a ladder against a brick building.



Baby hangs around inside the nest, waiting to be fed.



One of the parents has returned and, perches, and looks towards the box waiting for some signal to bring that freshly killed desert spiny lizard home to eat.



In the meantime, the youngster looks all around, listening for the adult and waiting.



Part Two coming up:  Dinner is served.



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