1st WARNING - For a limited time only !
2nd WARNING - You may find the following addictive !!
3rd WARNING - You may find yourself suffering from withdrawal symptoms sooner than you would like !!!
I have to thank (or blame!) my good friend, David Gascoigne, for drawing my attention to a web-cam that has held me spellbound all-week.
There is a web-cam that overlooks a Great Horned Owl nest on Skidaway Island, Georgia, USA. You can find its images here. As I write this, the nest contains two owlets which are being looked after by their mother.
Sunday 15th March, 2015
This was my first day of watching the nest, starting in their afternoon. The chicks are fairly lively, and mum puts in an appearance later. The time shown is local time (to the cam) - 4 hours behind UK time.
Monday 16th March, 2015
One of the owls is doing its wing exercises.
Tuesday 17th March, 2015
Suddenly I find that there is someone working behind the scenes and the camera has amazing zoom capabilities! Until this point in time, all the footage I'd seen had been at the same focal length.
Wednesday 18th March, 2015
I managed to tear myself away from the nest-cam for most of the day. The owlets seemed to be doing just fine. However, by the end of the day, the wind was getting up, and all was looking a little frightening.
Thursday 19th March, 2015
A rather frightening start to the day, with a high wind blowing the tree, and the owlets staying hunkered down or sheltering behind thicker branches. At one point, mum seemed to be mantling one to warm it up. Fortunately the wind died down during the day and the owlets seemed to emerge from the experience with added confidence and a sense of adventure. It was apparent that one would be off the nest platform at any time
Friday 20th May, 2015
When I first looked at the web-cam only one owlet was visible, and that was at the very edge of the nest platform, looking up along a branch. I didn't do any screen grabs of this episode as they took place during the hours of darkness and not much was visible. It seems that one of the owlets was 'branching' - something that they do at about six weeks old. A period of around a week, during which they explore the branches around the nest platform (sometimes ending up on the ground), is (with luck) followed by fledging. It seems, therefore, that these owlets will soon be fledged.
Next time I looked, both owlets were back on the nest. The backroom boys were putting the camera through its paces again.
From my observations of the web-cam, the mother owl appears to be away from the nest for most of the time during the week, but it seems she is not far away as you can see here in this view from the ground.
Remember, this could all end at any time! I suggest you get watching the nest-cam as soon as possible!