Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We hope to be back to blogging the owlets' progress more frequently. This afternoon (4/28), Mrs. Owl left the box for 2 minutes around 3pm and again around 4pm. She sat in the entryway or up on the perch several times in the afternoon, including a 40 minute doorway sit from 4:20-5:00pm. We don't really know why. Most likely, it was getting too hot in there. We saw her doing some gular flapping (owl panting), in which her throat moves in and out to cool her body.
At least one of the owlets now has open eyes.
With the warm weather and the owlets' increased size, she can now leave them for longer without them getting chilled. She left several times during the evening, starting with 20 minutes at 8:21. This, and her afternoon perch sitting was the best time to get good views of the owlets down below. She returned from her long break with a gecko. She was able to feed a blind snake that Mr. Owl delivered in one piece to an owlet. Earlier she had been tearing up larger prey items. Blind snakes are about earthworm-size, so they are fairly easy to swallow. It seems that Mrs. Owl has begun limited hunting, too. Sometimes she left the box and came back with prey items. We think we can tell the difference between his visits and hers, because she will usually get down on the floor with the owlets and stay a few minutes. When he comes, he will either deliver the prey item to her if she is in the box. If she is not, he will stay up fairly high, and lean down to offer the item to the owlets. Sometimes if the prey is too big or difficult to grasp, he will leave again with the item.