Monday, 22 September 2008

Little Owl Release The Forth Week

Google Earth image and plots of Little Owl roost sites, 1 week after release

The provided food has been largely abandoned, and also the number of items placed has been taken back to four. The time they take to come to the release aviary is within an hour and half of placing the food. Yet when they did appear last weekend on both nights they were more interested in each other than the food. I think as of this weekend we are missing two of the owlets as I can account for 4 of them quite easily by the calling or visually observed. We have had one Little Owl heard on a farm over 2 miles away and this is a new Little Owl, so maybe this is one of ours moved off and now establishing itself (thanks Paula for that observation, and please keep me posted). This Google Earth image plots the Little owls by observation on week 3-the white line =1 mile

The roosting Owl's now are more difficult to find, however this pictured below is of one who has left a number of regurgitated pellets below its roost. The results of which were fantastic, as they revealed from 5 pellets, 1 Wood Mouse, 3 Field Voles, the rest of the contents made up of Beetle and Earwig, but perhaps not surprising for the Mendip Hills, were parts of Grasshoppers and Crickets.
More observations will continue during the week and at next weekend, we will take the food provided down even further to 3 items provided, this with confidence that they are self supporting. Oh I forgot to mention the weather is still excellent by the way we have not returned to the Summer cold and rain, we really are in a dry and warm spell for the Autumn, which is great for these Little Owls.

Any of you close enough are welcome to come and see them, indeed many of you already have, and I'm very grateful for your help with the monitoring of them. Once again thanks for everyone support with this project. May I appeal for help with raising funds for the telemetry equipment we desperately need, anyone with ideas let me know via e mail.

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