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25 May 2012

Things that go squeak in the night

While some Long-eared Owl chicks are already well-developed, and their loud hunger calls are now being heard at many sites, it has become apparent that not all nests are hatching at the same time and some are only doing so now. This recording from a site near Newmarket last night is of a very young chick, possibly only a few days old, and the difference in volume and tone between this and the older chicks in an earlier post (HERE) is striking. While the calls from the older chicks carry for several hundred metres, this youngster's calls carried only about 80 metres and was very faint at only 60 metres or so..

Audio of a very young Long-eared Owl chick, Duhallow, 2 a.m., 25th May 2012 (M.O'Clery)

A nest full of older Long-eared Owl chicks is relatively easy to find, but a nest of young such as this would be far harder to detect, not only because of the quieter calls, but also because they don't call as persistently. This recording was made after nearly 20 minutes of silence from the nest, and the chick only started calling after an adult arrived at the nest, presumably with some food.