Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thursday 18 November

04h50: We are woken up by the sound of crash behind us. We peep through the curtain by the window above our bed, to find an owl sitting on the windowsill - one of the chicks. It didn't see us so we quickly backed off. Next thing, the chickflaps and bashes against the window. The windows open outwards and up, and the chick is between the glass and the window ledge, trying to fly out. Every time it attempts, it hits the glass window.

Suddenly, the chick loses its footing and falls into our bedroom, onto the bed - almost on top of me. Luckily I knew what this bundle of feathers was before it descended on me, otherwise you would no doubt have heard a blood-curdling scream.

Quickly, we pick the chick up, open the balcony door and put it outside. The chick is panicked, and flies to the balcony pillar immediately. Pappa joins the chick, hooting a lot. By now, the second chick has joined everyone on the balcony. I think Pappa and Pot Plant Owl must have decided to take the family to their roosting spot for the day, because one by one, they all fly to the neighbour's roof, and then across the road to the next roof, before disappearing behind the trees. I hope we see them tonight.

Leaving behind Teeny, who was on the garage roof of the neighbour's house. We knew there was no way of Teeny following its family, because the flight across the road to the other complex, is a long upward flight for Teeny. Teeny tried getting over our complex wall, and got caught by the electric fence. For a brief moment, we thought Teeny was hurt, but seconds later, it was on the ground again, hissing. Teeny is now sitting on the ground at the back of the neighbour's house.

As soon as the neighbour wakes up, we will ask if we can fetch Teeny and return it to the nest. Teeny is struggling with flying up, and gaining height. We now think Teeny may be lacking confidence in his / her flying, and this is the reason why Teeny is not attempting anything but wall to wall flying along a horizontal path. By returning Teeny to the nest, we hope that when night falls and PPO returns to feed it, Teeny will attempt to fly from one roof to the other. When Teeny manages this, like the other chicks, Teeny will be able to join the family once and for all.

We will return Teeny to the nest probably at 06h30 Central African Time.

06h35 Central Africam Time: We found Teeny on a windowsill at the back of the neighbour's house. We were worried that Teeny had been hurt by the electric fence, but Teeny appears to be okay. We picked it up and brought it back up to the balcony. We also carried the owl box back upstairs before we got Teeny, so it had something familiar there. Teeny is now sitting in the owl box.

09h30: Jelani snuck onto the balcony to join Teeny. Jeli probably didn't take to the roosting spot that its parents and Indie chose, so the chick took things into its own hands / wings. In broad daylight, here comes our Jeli flying to the balcony to join Teeny.

16h00: Jelani is bored and hops off onto the wooden perch, and gnaws at the wood. Then the chick sees the owl box, and decides to move there. Teeny had been ignoring Jelani's antics until Jeli flew onto the own box. Now, Teeny is alert and decides to do something about 'this intruder on MY box'. Quick as a flash, Teeny is on the owl box roof too, pushing Jelani further along the roof, until Jeli is sandwiched between the wall and Teeny. Confident that 'the threat' to Teeny's owl box is contained, Teeny remains in its position, and nods off to sleep again. Poor Jelani in the meantime, cannot move a feather between the wall and Teeny's body pressing into it. Jelani resigns itself to being Teeny's 'prisoner' for the moment, and too nods off to sleep.

18h50: After spending the afternoon on the balcony together, Teeny and Jelani wake up and begin exploring the balcony. Jeli is the first off the balcony as soon as Indie is in sight. Teeny moves deftly from one side of the balcony to the other, until it suddenly takes off in the direction of the neighbour's roof.

Teeny makes the long flight straight across and slightly up, and lands on the roof perfectly. It's funny watching young chicks flying. They dangle their thin, fluffy legs as they fly, giving them the appearance of an airplane with its wheels down coming in to land - only the chick is still in mid-flight. Teeny lands safely on the roof and hops / flaps up to the very top of the roof.

Once there, Teeny remains looking out over everything. Pot Plant Owl came in with a juicy king cricket as Teeny's reward. Jelani was comfortable on the wall, and Indie took off with Pappa. Before Indie left the area, I was standing outside in our garden. Indie flew directly towards me snapping its beak, before it turned off to the side. The cheeky chick!

We spent most of the evening watching the chicks, and the parents coming in to feed them. Now that Teeny made it onto the roof, Teeny wasn't going anywhere. Jeli was happy enough on the wall - until Teeny kept getting fed. Then it was Jeli's turn to turn on the 'crying' and hissed loudly for attention and food. PPO and Pappa returned to feed Jeli too.

It will be interesting to see if Teeny returns to the balcony tomorrow morning.


  1. Tracy you and Allan are guardian angels. Thank you for once again saving Teeny. Just a thought if you can't get into chat maybe you could talk on the mic outside the door and we could hear you. The world needs more folks like you. BRAVO

  2. Thank goodness Teeny has you! I guess the minute Teeny is ready to fly with family we won't see them anymore but will be so happy that they have all fledged successfully...a bittersweet moment sigh. Thank you for sharing your experience with us....your book i will read time and again as have thoroughly enjoyed it...many thanks!

  3. Tracy and Allan, I am so glad you have put Teeny back on the balcony with its siblings. I have been so worried about that baby owl being on its own on the patio.
    Thank you a thousand times for helping as you do! :-)

  4. Tracy, I am wondering if Teeny will ever be able to go off and lead an independent owl life. What are your views please? I totally echo TerriBoos'comment about you both being Teeny's guardian angel. Fi260268

  5. Tracy, once again thank you for the update. I was watching at dawn and heard the noise, saw the owlet and commotion but had no idea what was happening due to chat problems. I knew when I looked here you would have the story explained. Thank you!

  6. Wahay!!!! chat is now working!!!!!!

  7. Poor little lonely Teeny waiting for his family to return. At least he has got his owl box. Once he has mastered flying I am sure he will be fine - he was born last and was sick so it is OK for him to be a little way behind. His 'guardian angels' are giving him every opportunity to catch up! I hope his siblings are having a good day; it is so interesting to learn about their development. Janet

  8. Sending good energy toward you all for Teeny and the whole family. Feeling so close to you all in this... yes, I agree seems like Teeny will catch up- natural to be a bit later than the others...

  9. I am so glad Teeny is on the balcony where she can fly back and forth to strengthen her wings.

    Being down on the patio was taking too much strength to fly upwards because her wings are not strong enough yet!!