The chicks are learning quickly that the way to get food quickly is to be beg for it - by hissing and looking around eagerly. Pot Plant Owl leaves them around 4pm (Central African Time) and doesn't return unless to feed them.
During the summer months in Johannesburg, we have afternoon thunder showers that often give way to violent lightning storms. Tonight saw the start of the lightning storms for this season. As the lightning lit up the sky and thunder roared in the distance, Pot Plant Owl casually sat on her hunting perch - a telephone pole that looks out onto the once-densely vegetated wetland that is adjacent to our complex.
In Janruary this year, a developer started a bulldozer up to cut the trees down- in the guise of getting rid of all the alien vegetation. What people don't know is that a study was done on small raptor species, like our Spotted Eagle Owls. In South Africa, over 95% of all small raptor species nest in alien vegetation. By cutting down the alien vegetation without replanting anything, you destroy raptor species' habitats and they may soon become endangered. We are in October and there has not been one thing done to rehabilitate the wetland - no tree or shrub planted, no stumps of the fallen alien trees treated. There is massive soil degredation that is causing havoc with nature that lived in the wetland. This is literally the only wetland for miles, and if this goes, we may lose the owls forever.
We watch tonight as Pot Plant Owl teaches her chicks how to fend for themselves in the storm. As quickly as it whipped up, it was over and normal hunting resumed.