Monday, October 22, 2012

22 October - PPO Update

It's been an interesting and difficult owl season this year. As it is in Nature, there are ups and downs that we can't control no matter how much we'd like to.

The decision for us to switch off the webcam proved to be the best one to make. We had the opportunity last night of removing the eggs from the nest and opening up the two eggs, and they were both infertile.

There are a myriad of possible reasons why the eggs were not viable this year:
Perhaps one, or both, of the owls are infertile.
Perhaps toxins in the environment have caused am imbalance that is affecting fertility.
Perhaps the copulation period was rushed and didn't 'get the job done'.
Perhaps it is Nature's way of curbing the owl population numbers which have been on the increase in our area.

The good news is that Pot Plant Owl and Pappa are still making visits to their nest. They were both on the balcony in the early hours of this morning hooting to each other. PPO sits on her telephone pole nearby and we watch her hunt.

We don't believe that the owls will abandon the balcony nesting site - at least we hope that they don't. But of course, we can't be sure as they are wild and will do what they feel is right for them.

As a tribute to our owl family, we are making a 2013 calendar that will be ready by Friday 26th October.


  1. It's a relief to me to hear that there were no unhatched babies that died in the shells. It's still a little sad, but in retrospect, it's a disappointment, but not a loss of life.

    1. I agree. It would be more sad for me to see two little unborn chicks, after seeing their beautiful chicks for the past four years.

    2. Yes, I agree as well. It was so heartbreaking to see the picture of the unborn dead chick of Iris and Rusty this past year. I am very glad that both Pappa and PPO are taking this all in stride and staying close to their balcony! Thank you for the update! And for the new calendar!!!
      Love to both PPO owls and humans!

  2. Tracy, thank you for the update. So glad you turned off the web cam. I had stopped watching about a week before and was just following your blog in California. Removing the eggs really freed up PPO and Pappa to move on as we all must. Until next time and thanks for all you and your family do.

  3. Actually I feel this is good news and a relief for all of us and PPO and Papa.
    I think PPO and Papa will stay as this is there home and I believe they feel safe and comfortable here.
    Thank you Tracy for keeping us updated.

  4. Thank you so much for this update. Somehow I am "happy" that the eggs were infertile and that you didn't find nearly full-grown chick in the eggs that weren't able to get out. Of course Pappa and PPO are still there, they love that balcony and they are so right to do so!

  5. Oh Tracy thank you so much for the update! I am glad you removed the eggs! Who can say but I believe if you didn't, PPO would be the AMAZING mom she is, and still be sitting patiently on them, Pappa being the attentive dad he is, watching and hunting, and both would not be getting on with their lives as they are now! Who knows why they weren't fertilized. Nature has it's own rules and reasons why things happen as they do that we aren't privy to, and with ALL of "man's" interference's, I'm glad nature doesn't spill all her beans! Please have an wonderful week and I am looking forward to the calendar! Hugs and love! Sue

  6. From the heart I thank you for the update. It is a relief to find out that the eggs were not fertilized. I am guessing it was quite unnerving opening the eggs up though. So~ two Shelly's this year. I am happy to hear PPO and Pappa are hanging around "their" balcony. Love to You , Allan, PPO, Pappa and Puppy.

  7. Dear Tracy and Alan, thank you for the update. I'm so glad that the eggs were empty. I don't believe that PPO and Pappa will abandon your balcony, they have raised healthy chicks there. It is a comfortable place for them
    I wish you all the best and see you next year

  8. This a relief to hear, that all turned out as well as it could be . Thank you for the update - LandofAnne

  9. Thank you, Tracy and Alan, for the update. The puzzle is solved, and I'm so glad there were no babies inside the eggs. It would have been so hard for you so see. So we trust nature and her wisdom and look forward. I'm so pleased that PPO and Pappa are still around - they trust you - rightfully so. You two are wonderful!

  10. Like most things in nature, when one question is answered, several more arise. You have covered the possibilities well Tracy. Only time will tell which theory turns out to be right, if any. That is part of what keeps me watching these owls. There is always more to learn. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of it.

  11. Thank you for the update, and for all you do for PPO and Pappa. I hope they will be OK. Thanks also for your strong advocacy of the owls in your area of RSA.

  12. yes i also would like to thank you for letting us know what has happened ,and how very sad indeed poor owls ,well Alan & Tracy you could not have done more perhaps changing nesting pots was not a good idea on ther part who knows ,take care and a hug to your puppy take care xxx a very sad Veronica

  13. Dear Tracy and Allan. You guys made the RIGHT descison and I want to Thank You so very much for all you have done for PPO and Pappa and also for all the viewers. PPO and PAPPA know they are in a safe zone by being by you guys. They need you just as much as you need them, so glad to read they are still around for you guys to beable to watch them, will help you alot in this sadden time of nature.
    Love and Hugs to ALL of you.... grammie57

  14. Thank you so much for letting us know what you found!! (I am so glad you removed the eggs) Its sad not to have owlets in the nest, but it would have been even more tragic for you to discover deceased owlets in the eggs. . so, that is a huge relief.

    Who knows what happened!!! You've certainly thought of a lot of possibilities. If there has been an increased owl population, food availability/nutrition could also play a role. (I almost hate to mention this) but, maybe one of the "players" has changed.

    I am so glad they are still hanging around. I agree with you, I do not think they will abandon their nest site. Your balcony is prime real estate!! Location, Location, location!!!

    Hugs to all of you!!!

  15. Thank you so much Tracy and Allan, it is always a pleasure to read your blogs. This one is so special, letting us know what you found out about the eggs.

    Thank you again for your patience, and the caring you have for these two wonderful owls, and for sharing this all with us.


  16. Tracy will the calendars be available through a USA site as well as from Africa?? I am interested in getting one, but the additional cost ordering from out of the states is too high!

  17. Thanks and relief from me too. It would be way more sad to find dead unborn chicks. There are so many reasons for the eggs to be infertile.
    Also it's too bad to watch a bird brooding and brooding for nothing. And so glad PPO&Pappa are still around claiming your balcony as their home. For sure you make them feel comfy!
    BTW it has been a very strange season for many birds all around the world-- not that good..
    Love to you both and to the owls who honor your home.
    Maybe love is mutual even between humans and those wild marvelous creatures.
    Looking forward the new calendar, will get this year too. :)

  18. Dear Tracy,
    I hope that you and Allen, PPO and Pappa are doing well now. It has been such a difficult time but it has been made easier with the knowledge that the eggs were infertile after all. I think of you all often and hope that you are happy and healthy. Thank you for sharing PPO and Pappa with us. Also thanks for keeping us up to date on what has happened since the camera was turned off. I look forward to future days with PPO, Pappa, and owlets.


    Jeannie Ulrich (jogulrich)