Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh, Baby, Baby! Barred Owl and Red Fox Babies

This is a baby Barred owl or owlet. The little owl appears to be one of two. The other one stayed in its nest cavity, but I could see it up through branches. Neither of them can fly yet, so I'm not sure how this one got to this branch which is roughly thirty feet from the nest. The nest cavity is in an oak where a large branch broke off years ago. It's a typical Barred owl nest. Last year, I took photographs of the nest cavity and what turned out to be two adult Barreds. They did not have a successful nesting. If the mother laid eggs, nothing hatched. The property owners say that they have been aware of nesting in the same site for about five years and that probably, there were owls there before they realized it. The property owners where busy in their yard when I arrived. The second I got out of my car, I could hear an owl making the buzzing noise they issue when they are annoyed. The owls seem to think they own the whole block! The property owners say that they haven't had any Red squirrel problems there in the years since they've had the owls in residence. In Maine, Barred owls lay eggs in April. The owlets fly about 4-5 weeks after that. According to Wikipedia, the Barred owl is thought responsible for the decline of the Spotted owl population. Barred owls are more aggressive then Spotted and compete for nesting sites. On the west coast, a study was undertaken where Barred owls were shot to allow the Spotted owls nesting opportunities.
There are reportedly five kits in this litter. I only saw two. They were not shy. I'll go back to check on the others. I photographed these baby foxes and the owlet today, all in Phippsburg.
This little guy is about to yawn.
This was one of the two fox kits that I saw. He could hardly be bothered with me from his nap.

     Thanks to Wikipedia for information about the Barred owls.

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  1. Absolutely precious! Amazing photos Robin, great work!

    I saw two kits near the saw mill, but can't get photos of them yet.

    I saw an amazing Eagles nest thanks to someone I know! :)

  2. Breathtaking fox photos! Absolutely amazing how close you were able to get to the looks too perfect to be real.

  3. .Loved the latest photos . Is the fox pic. over at Jones' house.Love the kit photo. You should send some of those in to the Sun. paper.