Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday 10 November

04h30: PPO's alarm call wakes me, and I get up to do a head count and see if there is any obvious danger lurking nearby. Jelani has joined Teeny in the pot plant, and the two of them appear to be playing with each other. I can't see Indie anywhere, so I go outside to have a look. Eventually I find Indie sitting on a wall further up our complex. Pot Plant Owl's call was probably to tell Indie not to travel too far away. I went back to sleep for a short while.

When I woke up a couple of hours later, Indie was back in the pot plant nest, and the three chicks were dozing off. I didn't see Pappa or PPO.

Appearances: Our sweet chicks are 7-weeks old now, and looking so much like miniature adults now. The false ear tufts are growing larger by the day. Their feathers are rich in colour, and adult plumage has replaced most of the fluffy grey baby feathers. Height difference now is a centimetre or two - not much at all.
The biggest physical change is with our 'rehab' chick, Teeny. Teeny has doubled in size and stands almost as tall as Indie and Jelani. Teeny's face has darkened and is quite an expressive 'older looking' face.
Jelani still sports a black mask around its eyes, which is the only way I can tell it apart from Indie at a quick glance. Indie has a softer looking face - lighter in colour.

How long do we have left with 'our' owl family?
In the first year that the owls bred on our balcony, the chicks stayed here until they were 53 days old. Last year, the chicks were over 70 days old before they left (parents dragged then away by their ear tufts). The chicks are now approx 43 days old, so time is marching on for our family. Before long, the chicks will begin their new lives and we will not see them again.

Like many people now understand, having followed the owls' progress over the last few weeks, the time of letting go will be difficult. You've watched them open their eyes for the first time; learn how to flap wings and fly; play games; huddle down in thunderstorms; and what happens when they get sick. You've identified small characteristics that help you identify each chick. Hopefully you were involved in choosing their names too. And soon, we will all have to say goodbye and hope that everything runs smoothly for them, and Life treats them kindly.
Think about this and what these little owls mean to you now, as you watch the final stages of their development into adulthood. Every time you go onto the webcam now and the chicks are there, be grateful for the extra chance you have to 'spend time' with them.

This is what I am doing now.


  1. 43 days already. It's remarkable how attached we get, and how fortunate we are for people like you who let us share in this!
    Thank You!

  2. Ok Tracy you are so right and we are so fortunate..I speak with a tear in my eye...hate goodbyes. thank you for this unique opportunity. It has been so interesting and so much fun. I can not believe how fast they grow. I hope this wetland petition is signed by lots of people and the destruction is stopped..what ashame.

  3. Ditto on all said, thank you so much Tracy and Allen for allowing these WeE OWLeTs to be a part of our lives... {{{{{{TR♥Cy&ALL♥N}}}}}}


  4. I agree on all said as well. I enjoyed watching the chicks and can understand completely how you must feel when they're gone. They become a part of your life. Thanks for sharing, it's very much appreciated by a lot of people. :)

  5. Oh, the tears are flowing. I can't believe they leave at such a young age. I hope they stay as long as they can! I WILL miss them. Thanks for all the time and effort you have put in to these beautiful creatures! It was a pleasure and a treat and I look forward to next year already!

  6. How i will miss them, they have become part of everyday life so can imagine how you feel! I know i will cry buckets when they leave but they will be tears of happiness that all 3 have grown big and strong, especially my little Teeny. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience with us.

  7. As others have said the owls will be missed so much. Watching them grow up is so special and we are so privileged to see them: all thanks to you Tracy and Allan. Such good news that Teeny is catching up fast in growth - we wait for him to fly! Some questions if you have the time to answer them please -- how far away do the chicks go when they finally leave the nest to start their own lives? Where do PPO and Pappa go outside of the breeding season? Do they stay together or only meet up to breed? Janet