Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday 19 November

It looks as if our chicks have finally fledged. We woke this morning to find an empty balcony. Sitting on the far wall separating our neighbours' houses, we spot Teeny sitting with, we think, Jelani. The two of them look like peas in a pod, squashed together looking out over the gardens. Pappa has used the same spot before to watch the nest during the day. There is a large tree directly above the chicks, but instead of using the tree, the chicks seem content with the wall.

There's no sign of Indie or the parents. We suspect they are all across the road in a tree nearby.

The final chapter here will probably unfold tonight, when we see how Teeny manages flight from the wall. If Teeny succeeds in flying from the wall all the way up to the rooftop, I can't be certain we will see the chicks again. At this point, there will be no reason for them to stay in the immediate area. The parents will probably take them somewhere else to learn how to hunt. If Teeny doesn't make the rooftop, then we should have the chicks in our sights for another day or two.

Only time will tell now.

16h00 Central African Time: we've been watching Teeny and Jelani do a set of big wing flaps and stretches, as they grow restless on the wall. For most of the day, the chicks have been quite happy just to doz off. Now, it seems they want to play. The afternoon has been warmer and the sun has shone for the first time in a couple of days. With the rains and now the warmer weather, there are a great number of flying insects about. Of course, this sight is met by the chicks with much excitement and anticipation - food, glorious food is everywhere! Even from where we watch, we can see their eager facial expressions as they watch the insects fly past. Now if Teeny and Jelani were a little older / wiser, they would have started catching them for themselves. I bet if Indie was around, he / she would be pouncing and attacking everything that moved.

I think tonight will be quite exciting watching them 'hunt' these insects.

18h40: Teeny and Jelani are getting restless on the wall. Soon Jeli flies down to the grass, and starts hunting for insects. Teeny joins Jeli for a while, but isn't putting as much effort into its own hunting as Teeny is into hissing. Some things never change.

Soon, the rest of the family appear. It's a special moment watching all 5 owls in the immediate area. Teeny gets back on the wall, and suddenly takes off in the direction of the neighbour's roof. We watch Teeny and wait to see what happens next.

Teeny puts all its effort into the flight, and makes it onto the balcony - still a fantastic feat, and a decent height increase for Teeny to fly. Well done, Teeny!

For a while, we watch as the Jelani and Teeny are joined by Indie, and together, the three chicks hunt on the lawns of the neighbouring houses. Pot Plant Owl and Pappa are off hunting somewhere.

Just before going to sleep, Allan and I venture outside and everything is calm. No owls in sight and no hissing from the chicks. I think the time has come to say goodbye.


  1. We all knew this time would come. Hopefully Teeny will succeed in his flight and they can move on to their new adventures. It has been a wonderful experience watching them grow...thank you so much for sharing this with us. :) Looking forward to hopefully sharing with a new family next year....?

  2. Well done Teeny! And well done Allan and Tracy for knowing exactly what was needed to help Teeny on his/her way. Returning Teeny to the balcony gave this special little chick the opportunity to take the next crucial step (flight). I love hearing about/seeing the antics of this wonderful family and their interactions with each other. Jeli and Teeny seem to be particularly close. Do we have a photo of Teeny squashing Jeli on the roof of Teeny's beloved owl box? I'll be watching with bated breath to see whether they do return to the balcony. Janet

  3. I'm sorry to see them go, but I know that's how it goes. I'll miss reading about them, and watching them on the cam. I wish PPO and her family all the best.
    Thanks for sharing, Tracy and Allan. I wish you too all the best, and will probably think a lot about you and PPO plus family when we go for the first time to SA in May 2011.
    I wish you all the luck with your quest against the developers, and I hope, with over 20,000 other people, you'll succeed and save the wetlands, "our" PPO's and her family's territory.

  4. Tracy and Allan, I am sure you know that I am very appreciative of the work you do for the owls in working to save their wetland as well as caring very much for Indie, Jelanie, Teeny, PPO and Papa.

    Even though I saw Teeny and Jelanie fly off last night it was a shock to log on this morning to not see an owlet in sight.

    Thank you for all you have done for PPO's owlets this season. I really wish the whole owl family all the very best for their future.

    There are 24,263 names on the save the wetlands petition now. I hope we will be able to meet you both on your balcony on cam soon.

  5. Tracy and Allan, what can I say but thank you for this amazing experience. We were fortunate enough to have seen the previous clutch at your home last year. I look forward to next years experiences!!

  6. Thank you, thank you, Tracy and Allan!
    It has been a real pleasure to have seen this wonderful family of owls. Also, you both have been such really wonderful caring people to watch over and look after these special owls.
    I do hope that every things goes well with the wetlands petition!!
    I am going to miss this Special Little Family! :-(

  7. Words for Tracy and Allan. I wish they were mine:

    To a Daughter Leaving Home
    Linda Pastan

    When I taught you
    at eight to ride
    a bicycle, loping along
    beside you
    as you wobbled away
    on two round wheels,
    my own mouth rounding
    in surprise when you pulled
    ahead down the curved
    path of the park,
    I kept waiting
    for the thud
    of your crash as I
    sprinted to catch up,
    while you grew
    smaller, more breakable
    with distance,
    pumping, pumping
    for your life, screaming
    with laughter,
    the hair flapping
    behind you like a
    handkerchief waving

    We'll miss you Jelani, Indie and Teeny, Jude (owlsitgoin)

  8. Jude that was lovely. Tracey and Allan, you feel like family, and the owls do too!! I get so attached and I can not tell you the anxiety I feel every time I log on to see whats happening next. It ha been truly a fantastically educational and fun experience. Thank you for letting me onto your back deck for all these weeks!! You have done an awesome job not intervening too much but helping the weak one have a chance at life just enough. I pray that the wetland stays for your wildlife, and will look forward to with my fingers crossed that PPO and Husband return to your beautiful spot for them to have children in..If there is any chance for updates on the wetlands I would love to hear..I say cheerio with a smile and a tear:) Lori

  9. Thanks so much for everything Tracy and Allan. What a wonderful experience and you are both so knowledgeable and thoughtful to share with us.
    It has been delightful. Hugs for you both! Ginny in the USA.

  10. I don't know if there is anybody watching, but I can not see a thing.... is it just my little junky computer or is there nothing to see at 215pm eastern standard time in the USA.. Thanks if anybody checks this...Lori

  11. Iwanna.
    I am in UK and it is 9:40pm here and all I see is a dark screen and a few lights in the distance. :-(
    Hope that helps you.

  12. TY Pands...Guess I was wishing and Hoping..I would see or hear someone:) Thanks for answering me back.

  13. Looks like the video feed is frozen at 21:43.

  14. Looking at screen and finally think I see one baby down on left hand back porch bottom, and maybe PPO on the top one? Or is there someone in the woods? Thanks Lori

  15. In the trees.. that is what I intended to say!! Sorry:)

  16. Confirmed sighting of Teeny (???) I think in the trees to the left of the screen. Have a nice day all who reads this!!

  17. Hi All

    Thank you so much for all your lovely comments - I really appreciate it, and Allan does too. Jude, thank you for the poen which made me teary-eyed. I'm so glad you all enjoyed watching 'our' owls and appreciated them as much as we do.