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17 July 2012

Screeching fledglings

The three chicks ringed at a tree site in Duhallow two weeks ago (see the post HERE) are doing well, despite the atrocious weather. A check on them a few nights ago at dusk saw all three flying competently around the nest site, and two eventually moved away into the trees, still snoring for food from their parents. One, perhaps the youngest, stayed close to the nest, calling frequently. Have a listen to the video. It's nearly dark, so the video can't pick up the birds in the foliage, but the snoring calls are distinct, and have developed into an occasional full-blooded screech. 

Three Barn Owl chicks near their nest, now at the flying stage, and no doubt soon ready to leave the area to find their own territories (Filmed under licence: M.O'Clery).

All three fledglings could leave the nest area at any time now. The dispersal of young Barn Owls generally occurs two to four weeks after they are able to fly, occasionally longer, but it could be in any direction. Who knows where they might end up once they leave? Many ringed birds have been re-found just 10-20 km from their birthplace, but others have crossed the country.