Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 September and still there are two

This is certainly a year of firsts:

It is the first time that Pot Plant Owl has nested in the far pot plant container.
It is the first time (bar for that first year) that we've been caught completely unprepared for the nesting season - despite having balcony railing guards up, and cameras and microphone secured well in advance - all because PPO changed her nest, and left us all scrambling.

And now it seems like this may well be the year that Pot Plant Owl only lays two eggs -instead of her usual three eggs.

Such is Life: The minute you believe you have it all figured out, and you are in control, Life throws you a 'Life Curvebal'l and says 'Now what about this?'. And you have to take a step back, and figure it all out again.

Personally, I believe that the relentless development of our area, and the great Jozi area, is a factor in PPO only laying two eggs. With less vacant land, there are fewer snakes, insects, and rodents around, which means a shortage of food for 'our' owls.

This, combined with the cruel use of rat and other rodent poisons in the average home, makes Pappa and Pot Plant Owl's survival to this point truly remarkable. And I believe that within every creature (regretably my own species aside) lies the inherent knowledge of how many offspring they need to bring into this world to survive as a species, and to survive themselves.

Perhaps this is why PPO only has two eggs now.
Perhaaps I will wake up tomorrow morning to find another surprise in the nest, and be thrown that 'Life Curveball' again.

Whether it's one or two, or even three chicks that hatch and survive, each of them is remarkable and a privilege to watch.

And speaking of watching, those following on the webcam - please be patient. Sound WILL return. The picture WILL get better. And Pot Plant Owl and Pappa will be a joy in all our lives again.

All good things come to those that wait...

13 comments:

  1. I feel bad thinking of the development of your area and the shortage of food for the owls.. :((
    Rat poisons are used everywhere, Central Park in NYC is a very sad exemple as Pale Male, his mate and kids died poisoned.
    It isn't any great sign of civilization.
    Good luck to PPO&Pappa and their new eggs. Will follow them with love once again.
    Thank you Tracy&Allan! :)

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    1. Thanks Gio. It is the nature of our material world unfortunately, but we can all do our little bit.

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  2. The relentless development of your area is sad for the owls and for those of us who love them, Tracy. I worry so much about their survival; perhaps only two chicks WILL be better for this year - or not - as you said, possible curveball approaching. Thank you so much for giving us the privilege of watching! Will love sound, but am patiently waiting. :-)

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    1. I do too Knaz, but we still keep trying and hoping to change attitudes - one person at a time.
      Sound is an issue that Africam are working hard on. The current mic is too sensitive for everyday use. But don't worry - hopefully not much longer!

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  3. Watching Owls on Ustream made me an advocate to nix rat poisoning in my area. Not just owls but all creatures that live off the land. I am so glad my eyes were opened. Looking forward to PPO and your blogs.

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    1. Great to hear. Rat poisons are horrible, and unfortunately they affect so many other creatures - not only rats.

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  4. Maybe she remembers the third smelly egg last year, and thinks two is enough this year!

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  5. animals are a lot smarter than humans LOL

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    1. They certainly are. That's why I probably love them more than most humans

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  6. Hi I have a quick question.Does pappa ever take a turn at incubation or does he just protect and hunt.
    Many thanks
    P.S. although your blogs are only words they paint wonderful pictures in my mind.Thank you, not just for myself but I feel sure from many others.

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    1. Hi Graham
      No, Pappa doesn't incubate at all. He plays a pivotal role in hunting for PPO and the family soon. He moves in closer to the nest just before and after the eggs hatch, and he spends all day protecting the nest. And of course, he chases up off 'their' bbalcony if we try to go out and water the plants or do something to fix things up

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  7. Thanks for such a great site! We've been obsessed (in a good way) with owls since winter last year when an unusually large number of Snowy owls visited Chicago. This summer, we watched some Barn owls in Ireland fledge (last week!). Found Iris and Rusty in Houston, MN, and then found you! If we are crafty we can watch owls all year around. Love it!

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