Our chicks were in the same place as yesterday, when we woke up this morning. Indie and Jelani sat huddled together in the nest. Teeny was perching on the owl box on the patio below.
The weather today has been overcast and cold, and the chicks have responded to the change of temperature by sleeping more. Teeny remains quite content on the patio with the owl box seemingly fulfilling the role of 'substitute care giver', in the absence of its mom and siblings.
Teeny is growing up - just like the other two. It will be anyday now, that Jelani, Indie and Teeny will literally spread their wings and leave us. Pot Plant Owl and Pappa have done an incredible job at raising the chicks. It never ceases to amaze me how strong the family unit is. We've seen it the past two years, and this year is no exception. I wonder if all Spotted Eagle Owls parents are as close to, and as protective of, their chicks, or if Pot Plant Owl and Pappa are a unique pair.
16h00 Central Africa Time: I've just spent a long time watching Teeny, and my heart is filled with pride for this little owl. In its short lifetime thus far, Teeny has gone through a number of tests - and passed them all with flying colours (pardon the pun). Teeny's faced certain near-death, been removed from its family and then reunited with them, fought for food and attention being so small in comparison to the others, and braved being alone - alone in the nest, and now alone on the patio below. One thing Teeny will always be, is a fighter. Watching Teeny the other night brave up to a cat, and scare it off, has made me realise that Teeny will survive. And while I will miss Teeny's hissing and the shoe 'attacks', I think it's almost time to let Teeny go.
It goes without saying, of course, that our dear Indie and Jelani will be sorely missed, and we send them all our love and best wishes too. There's never been a doubt that these two strong, capable chicks will make it out in the 'Big World', but there have been doubts about Teeny's abilities.
Not anymore. Not for me anyway. Teeny's well prepared for what lies ahead, and I'm confident Teeny will thrive.
Early PM - Feeling frustrated! Can't get onto the chat room to let everyone know the chicks' whereabouts. Will try again a little later.
An hour later: Still no luck with the chat room. By now, Teeny has left the patio area and is sitting on the wall. Indie and Jelani are awol - they took off as the sun set, and are nowhere to be seen. I've seen Pot Plant Owl feed Teeny, but otherwise, there has been no other action.
20h00: A chick has joined Teeny on the wall, and together they are sitting in the rain. It is a light drizzle at the moment so I think the chicks are enjoying washing their feathers. In my mind, I think it is Jelani that has joined Teeny, while Indie hunts with Pappa.
20h45: The rain is falling down harder now. Visibility is limited. The owls won't be travelling far in this rain, so we decide to call it a night.
A rather uneventful evening of owl entertainment.