I thought I'd share with you an extract from our book "Pot Plant Owl". This was written when those chicks were 24 days old, four years ago:
'Today marks another milestone in the chicks' developments. While sitting at the hide we watch Pot Plant Owl silently flying in with a 'live catch': a squirming cricket.
She lands on the lip of the pot, and drops the wriggling insect at the chicks' feet. The chicks stare down at it, and then look up to their mother as if to say 'Now what?' Pot Plant Owl departs, leaving the chicks to figure out what to do, and the fun begins.
Confusion is etched on the chicks' faces for, despite the familiarity of the shape and colour, this piece of food is crawling around. Curiosity gets the better of them and they start playing a game of 'Catch' with the cricket.
The frightened cricket scrambles for its life, as the chicks pounce towards it, trying to grab it. When one chick manages to close a beak over the cricket, the insect wriggles furiously and the chick quickly lets go. The same thing happens when the second chick accidentally catches the cricket.
By now, tears of laughter are streaming down our faces - the chicks just don't have a clue.
By the time Pot Plant Owl returns, the chicks have tired of their game and are sitting together begging for food. One very lucky cricket defied death, escaping to the back of the pot and down the side.
We think Pot Plant Owl is teaching her chicks how to recognise food sources. But it looks like she's going to have to give this lesson another go before the chicks get it right.'