Sunday, 12 June 2016

Other things you get in barn owl boxes


Good guesses folks: gannets, crow, juv. crow however this month's top prize goes to Rick who got it spot on - a Jackdaw! This is indeed a jackdaw chick or pullus and I had no idea their eye were such a gorgeous blue. Adult jackdaws have a white eye which is use to good effect: Researchers in Cambridge and Exeter have discovered that jackdaws use their eyes to communicate with each other – the first time this has been shown in non-primates - how cool is that!

Here is the image enlarged - you can see round the eye lots of 'quills' which are feathers still developing and growing, or in-pin.

On one farm three of four barn owl boxes had broods of jackdaws in, complete with great nests of sticks, cow hair and mud. They were not far off flying so fingers crossed they'll soon be empty and ready for re-occupation by owls someday soon. A natural tree site has been used by barn owls in the past. There was lots of white splashes on the tree so I was hopeful of it being in use by an owl however, when I carefully peered into the recess, I found not an owl but.....

...a female mallard! She peered back at me and I quickly retreated; she must be around 3m up!