The female barn owl has been using the nest box since early December and spending more time in the nest each week. Over the next few weeks you may observe the male barn owl in the box and witness courting, grooming and mating with the pair. The female may lay between 2-11 eggs and incubate them for 29-34 days. Incubation of the eggs generally starts as soon as the first egg is laid, so the young hatch 2-3 days apart.
In the first few weeks after the young hatch, the female stays on the nest to brood and care for the helpless hatchlings while the male brings food to the female and young owlets.
Barn OwlCam came into existence when the WildWatch staff
received a request from a WDFW habitat biologist and hatchery
manager to conduct a site and feasibility inspection for
a barn owlcam. WDFW staff had recently completed construction
of a barn owl nest box with modifications to an attic
vent for a small entry area into the nest box. Recent
demolition of a nearby barn that had long-standing documented
use of barn owls, led the biologist to pursue getting
some nest boxes constucted in an attempt to attract nesting
owls. Within a few months, one of the nest boxes was occupied
by a pair of barn owls.
we set up cameras to capture actual real-time images,
we get whatever it is that nature hands out. It is a risk
we take. Many times, it is a positive experience for everyone,
as we watch young animals grow and mature. At other times,
it is not so pleasant. But if we want to show our majestic
wildlife to the world, it is important that we understand
they also face risks from many directions.
we established the WildWatchCam program, we anticipated
that at some time the view might be unpleasant for some.
We consulted with many biologists, and their advice was
“once the birds start nesting, the risks to the
chicks are far greater if a human intervenes than if we
don’t.” So that is our operating philosophy.
Once the birds begin the nesting process, we are done
until all young have fledged and the adults move on. We
don’t adjust cameras that get knocked out of alignment;
we don’t clean cameras that get splattered by rain
or feces; and we don’t interfere with what nature
dishes out. But we do get to learn about the life and
death struggles that occur out of our windows.
invite you to enjoy our other WildWatchCam scenes. Or,
grab your binoculars and step out into our great outdoors
and see what discoveries await you.
Please send out the WildWatchCam link to all of your friends and relatives - http://wdfw.wa.gov/wildwatch/
We appreciate your support expressed by your frequent cam viewing. You may also help by sending a tax-deductible donation to:
600 N. Capitol Way
Olympia WA 98501-1091