SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Brooding Patch

How the Brood Patch Develops
Most female birds, and some males, develop a brood patch during the breeding season. Changes in hormone levels during the nesting season start the process. Down feathers on the bird's tummy, and even some contour feathers, suddenly get very loose. In some species, those feathers just fall out. In other species the mother pulls them out.When the feathers fall out, other changes happen too. The tissue in the tummy area swells. The tissues hold more water, and the blood vessels that feed the skin expand. These changes make the bird's tummy skin almost as hot as the body's interior.
In species where only the female incubates, the male doesn’t develop a brood patch. In species that share incubation like the bald eagle both male and female have brood patches.
The rocking or wiggling of the owl as she begins to lay on her eggs opens the feathers that have curled over the brood patch and puts their skin in contact with the eggs or chicks.
At the end of the nesting season the blood vessels recede and the feathers grow back to keep the adult warm.