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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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June 14, 2010

Stow Away Baby Barn Owl & Web Cam

The other day Dominic was doing some tractor work, moving some things from around our house down the hill to the ranch.  After about an hour I hear the tractor pull up to the front of our house, Dominic had come up to ask me for my help.  Help with putting one of the baby Barn Owls back up in it's nest. 

Remember the baby Barn Owl story from a few weeks ago?

Well, apparently one of them had stowed away on the tractor and had been going along for a ride all throughout Dominic's morning work.  What an adventure for the little guy!

The only problem with trying to get the little guy (he's not so little anymore) back up into his nest is that it might freak out the other baby owls.  Because now there are four babies.  I believe there are two sets of chicks sharing the nest now, or maybe I didn't see the other two chicks a few weeks ago....not sure.

Sure enough, as soon as we walked up, another baby came down.  They are just learning how to fly, so they can get down but not back up.

This must be the defense stance they take when they feel threatened because he didn't like me coming too close.

Here's the two of them huddled together in a corner.

Dominic leaned a plank board from the ground to their nest for them to walk up......apparently this has worked in past years.

The other two new babies were watching from above.

'Sneaky' was hiding on the tractor tucked away under the bucket arm.

On the yellow area.

A few hours later I checked on them to see if they had figured out how to use the plank to get back to their nest.

And they had!  You can see one of them on the left and I'm sure the other one is hiding up there as well.
The plank was taken down (and will be used as needed) so that raccoons and other predators will not be able to gain access to them. 

We like Barn Owls.  They feed on gophers, mice and other nuisances we have hanging around.

I sure hope they learn to fly soon!

I found the NEATEST thing while researching Barn Owls!!  Below is a link to a LIVE web cam at Starr Ranch featuring a nesting barn owl!  It's the coolest thing.  What a great learning experience for all ages. 

I spoke with Pete, the ranch manager via email to gain permission to include the web cam link on my blog post.  He gave me permission and he also offered to help by talking me through a set up of a web cam on our barn owls.  Thanks Pete!  Maybe we'll do this next spring:)

Yesterday, Bryce, Paige and I checked the web cam at around 1:40 p.m. and observed Mama Owl feeding on a field mouse or gopher she had caught and brought back to the nest.  Good timing!

Soon there will be babies to observe.

Go to Starr Ranch Sanctuary to view the live, nesting Barn Owl.

Happy Monday!

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