About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl live cam

Who's (Back) On Cam For You?

Nestled into a wooded backyard in central Indiana, a pair of owls have returned to breed for a fifth consecutive season on the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam. Beneath the down feathers of the female owl are three white eggs laid on March 5, 7, and 9.  For the last four years, the owls have had great success raising their young, fledging a total of 11 owlets from 11 eggs. Watch cam.

What to watch for: For the next 4 weeks or so you can listen to the sounds of spring arrive in the forests as the female incubates her eggs. At night, watch as the male owl delivers a steady stream of interesting prey items (like this crayfish) to the nest box and listen for the Barred Owls' classic "whoo-cooks-for-you?" hooting duets. After hatching, it takes only 4 to 5 weeks for the downy, closed-eyed hatchlings to transform into fierce, sometimes clumsy owlets ready to explore the world (check out these highlights from previous years for a sense of what is yet to come.)

New this year: A second camera has been installed to give views of the nest box opening from the outside so viewers can observe the owls' comings and goings, as well as the nestlings once they begin peering ouside. (Check out the crayfish delivery via the outside camera: https://youtu.be/USHDl715X7I). To toggle between the two camera views, click the "switch camera" icon in the lower right of the livestream player, next to the settings wheel. 

Barred Owl Fun Facts
· The Barred Owl is slightly smaller than the Great Horned Owl in size.
· Male and female plumage is identical throughout the year, but females can be about 30% heavier than males.
· Barred Owls maintain their territory throughout the year and are believed to maintain a monogamous pair bond for life.
· Though the size of their territory varies greatly with the type and quality of habitat, a Barred Owl’s home territory is approximately 700 acres.
· The prey (food) of Barred Owls is primarily small mammals, such as squirrels, chipmunks, voles and mice. Barred Owls will also prey in lesser amounts on small birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish.
· Predators of the Barred Owl include Great Horned Owls, Northern Goshawks and climbing mammals such as raccoons and weasels.
· Barred Owls nest only once per year and lay an average of two or three eggs per nesting.
· Only the female incubates the eggs. Incubation lasts for 28-33 days and starts when either the first or second egg is laid.
· The young will be covered with a fine down and will begin to beg for food a few moments after hatching.
· The female will brood the young almost continually for about two weeks. During this period, the male will deliver all the food for her and the young to the nest.
· The young owls will leave the nest at approximately four to five weeks of age and remain in the branches of the nest tree until they are able to fly at around 10 weeks of age.
· The young owls will stay together with their siblings throughout the summer and are fed by their parents. Then, the young will strike out on their own in early fall when the parents slowly wean them from feedings.
· According to bird banding records, the oldest known Barred Owl living in the wild was at least 24 years old. However, most Barred Owls would be lucky to reach even half this age.

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