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22 May 2012

Long-eared Owl chicks

Since the first Long-eared Owl chicks were heard near Newmarket last week (see post below), chicks have been heard at a number of other sites, and many have been loud and obvious as they start their 'squeaky-hinge' calls after dusk. Long-eared Owl chicks are surprisingly mobile at an early age, and can scramble around the branches of their nesting tree at only a couple of weeks old. This, of course, makes catching them for ringing and measuring particularly tricky. However, John Lusby and Aonghus O'Donaill did manage to catch some yesterday...

John, with a Long-eared Owl chick, one of a brood of three (Photo: Aonghus O'Donaill).

Long-eared Owl chick (Photo: John Lusby).

The adult Long-eared Owls stay close to the nest at this stage. Careful searching close to the nest can sometimes reveal one or both parents, well camouflaged against the trunk and foliage.

An adult Long-eared Owl watches proceedings from an adjacent tree (Photo: John Lusby).

 All visits to Long-eared Owl nests and ringing of chicks is done under licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service.