Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 New Year Greeting

Happy New Year and all the best for 2011!

We're finally back in the office after a good break for the holidays. It feels tiring getting through the first day back at work after a break, but one soons get back into the swing of things.

I've been receiving emails from overseas followers of PPO asking if we have seen the owls over the festive season. Late Christmas Eve, I received a distressing phone call from a concerned neighbour. Someone had found an injured owl chick just outside our complex, and rushed the chick off to FreeMe Wildlife Rehab Centre (where Teeny went). The chick was just admitted in before 5pm close.

We tried phoning on Christmas Day to find out more, but got no answer. Eventually we came right the following day, only to be told that the chick was so badly injured that it had to be put down.

I was heart broken at hearing that news! Worse still, we hadn't seen our owl family for a few days so didn't know where any of them were.

A few days went by with both Allan and I moping around the house during the day, and at nightfall, going outside to look for the owls. Finally, the day before New Year, we heard Pappa hooting and Pot Plant Owl replying. We rushed out the house and saw the two parents sitting on a rooftop in the distance. No sooner had we spotted them, we saw not one, not two, but three chicks fly in and land on the roof with their parents. OUR FAMILY HAD SURVIVED!

While it is still very sad to learn about the death of the other chick, I am incredibly relieved that it was not one of 'our' chicks. Since that evening, we have not seen the owl family again, although I'm sure they are fine.

As I write this entry, our resident Crested Barbet is sitting in the owl nest. He has taken to visiting the nest frequently and appears to be scratching in and around the nest. Who knows! Perhaps we will welcome a Crested Barbet family here soon.

All the best!


  1. It's great to "hear your voice" this morning, Tracy. I'm sorry to hear about the other owl chick, but heartened to know that your kind neighbour did their best to help.
    It must have been wonderful to see and hear from Pappa, Pot Plant Owl and the three chicks, all together and healthy. Thank you for the news of them.
    I looked up Crested Barbet, what a gorgeous bird. Maybe you will have a new little bird family in residence.
    Good to hear you are both rested after your break. -LandofAnne.

  2. Dear Allan and Tracy, a very happy New Year to you too. :)I'm glad to read the owl family is doing fine. What a scare it must've been when the neighbour called.
    The crested barbet looks like a nice bird! It would be nice if they decide to start a family there. :)

  3. HI, Allan and Tracy,
    I can well imagine how your heart would be thudding when you heard about the owl chick, and can only guess at how happy you were to see all five of "our" little family, safe and well. That is wonderful and heartening news to know that they are stll together and making periodic appearances. When I read the first part of your post I was afrid that the injured chick might have been Teeny, but that little one is a survivor.

    Now I will go and look up the crested barbet, and only hope that, if it moves in, it will allow the owls to return next August. There must be something very inviting about your balcony. Do you post "welcome" signs?

    Are there any new developments on the wetlands issue? I've done my best to promote the petition.

    Have a safe and prosperous New Year. All the best,

  4. Hi Tracy&Allan!

    Sharing your scare, concern and finally your joy as you could spot all the owl family along again!
    Sorry for the dead chick though..
    Yes, your balcony looks very attractive to several birds! ;)) Have to check Crested Barbet, a nice species for sure.

    Happy, healthy, lucky New Year back to you and your feathered friends!


  5. Just saw them on the web. Crested Barbets are sooooo beautiful!!! :D

  6. Hi Allan and Tracy,
    Thank god it wasn't our Teeny and the family is doing well. I am sorry to hear that the other chick didn't make it also. I will be looking forward to PPO and Pappa nesting again. I looked up the crested barbet and it says that they nest between September and December in SA. I hope they don't try to take over PPO's nesting plant,lol. Go sit on your balcony...maybe they won't nest ;) xx Bigsis

  7. So sorry to hear about the other owl chick, but glad to know that PPO and Pappa and the three are ok and doing fine. Thank you so much for the update. I went to the flyover in Homosassa, Florida today for the last leg of the migration from Wisconsin of the young whooping crane chicks that migrate by following an ultralight plane. I posted today's story and photos on my blog - I thought you might enjoy it:

    Linda Harbin

  8. Happy New Year and thanks for keeping us posted on the family!

  9. OMG, my heart almost stopped when I read that. I am so glad "your" chicks survived, but it is sad to see any animals die or become too injured to make it. I had to get a new computer, so I lost your email address and the address of the newspaper you had given me to write to them regarding the wetlands. I couldn't believe it - one night the computer just didn't turn on anymore!! Bummer, but I have a nice one now. Can you please send me those addresses again to: Linda Brown

    Thanks so much you guys!