80 Main Street, Sutter Creek, California ~ ~ ~ Attempted Hours: Open 11am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Barn Owl Update

Well, our baby barn owls, like all babies, have grown up and left the nest - - - literally. I just wanted to do quick update to let you know that I think all five of our baby barn owls have successfully learned to fly! I am not sure how many are still living in their nest, located in the eaves of the shop just outside the back door. Below is one of my favorites. She seems to be the most curious or perhaps the most comfortable with her human neighbors. She often comes out when I whistle and will still tilt her head at me. Although I am not an owl expert I think she has stayed in the nest to watch over the younger owls. At any rate she is a very beautiful and responsible owl.

In the last few weeks our owls all seem to learn to fly the same way. They take their first flying leap out of the nest. Then they spend a day or two sitting on the ground or perched on our electrical boxes. Soon they are either back in the nest or on their way into the world.


I believe these are actually two different owls. In the photo above the owl just seemed to need a rest. The owl below was actually dubbed "sad owl" because he seemed much younger and looked like he was lonely and missed the nest. Luckily, after 2 days down below "sad owl" managed to fly back up to the nest to be with his siblings.


I love the last few fluffy baby feathers!


Although I am actually only 5-6 feet away this owl doesn't seem to mind! He is almost camouflaged against the old brick wall.


The other evening my family and I went down to see the owls flying. These three were perched on an old screen, across from where the nest is located. I believe these are the three younger owls. The middle owl refused to look down and the one on the right nearly twisted his head all the way around! Eventually they all took flight that evening.

As you can see they are quite a ways up - and very messy! We didn't stay around long to watch them. The mom & dad both show up at dusk to feed the young owls. The dad is HUGE and has a wing span of 4-5 feet! Both parents will screech and dive down if they think we are getting a little too close!


I've thoroughly enjoy our little owl family at The Antique Gardener this spring. This the first good picture I was able to take of the five baby owls (one can be barely seen on the far right). Just like my own kids I hope they have been given roots & wings. Perhaps one of them will come back to the shop to make a nest of their own in the years to come. I hope they do!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Our Baby Barn Owls

I am so lucky! I have a nest of five baby barn owls up in the roof at The Antique Gardener! These darling little owls have been here for over a month and are getting big enough and brave enough that they come out to say hello. They are extremely messy but well worth it!
As you can see, they are getting big but still have some of their fuzzy little white feathers on the top of their heads. I have also learned that owls do not lay all of their eggs at one time. They will often lay a few and then lay more several days later. There are a total of five babies, two of them are older and the other three seem to be younger as they have a lot more of the downy white feathers. Since I have to clean up a great deal of pellets and poop each and every morning I find myself talking to my little owls every day. I found out that one of the two older owls will tilt his head when I tilt mine. He seems to be very curious and will come out to see me whenever I whistle.


Here is a closer view of one of the older owls and one of the younger. It is amazing how they grow and change.



I'll keep you posted on our little owl family. Hope you enjoyed the photos!