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8 July 2012

Three tree chicks

As promised, details of another of the Duhallow Barn Owl tree nests (featured in a previous post HERE). The site was visited on Thursday last in the company of NPWS Ranger Barry O'Donoghue and Brin MacDonald to ring the chicks, and not a moment too soon. All three were almost ready to fledge, being about 65, 62 and 60 days old. Only one had some last traces of downy feathers, the other two were fully grown and ready to face the outside world. Had we visited this nest only a few days later, we might well have found an empty nest.

One of the chicks (M.O'Clery).

Video of the ringing of the chicks (Video: John Lusby & Michael O'Clery).

The nest was in a huge pine tree in the middle of a woodland, and as this was the first visit to the site, it was a bit of a surprise to find that the nest cavity was rather shallow. There was really just room for the three chicks to shelter from the elements and not much more. However, all three were in good health, showing that the parents had chosen their nest site well.