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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Courtship in review

PhotobucketNot much is known about Owl courtship because many scientist haven't studied it. With night active owls, it’s probably due to the logistical challenge of doing research at night.
Most species of owls are most talkative in winter to early spring. This increase in vocalization signals the very beginning of courtship.(Owls can also be talkative in early fall, when they are establishing their territories for the winter)
Even in species where the male and female stay together all year long, the pair become more talkative at the beginning of the breeding season. Scientist think this chatty behavior helps strengthen the pair bond.
The pair may become more attentive to each other in other ways, such as perching close together.
Mutual preening is an affectionate-looking way for owls to cement their relationship. Ritual feeding is another important part of the courtship process for owls.
The male goes hunting and brings back some item of prey, which he holds in his beak. He perches next to the female and offers her a token. Studies show that extra gifts of extra food are more then a gesture for barn owls; the extra calories may help the female bulk up for the energy-demanding job of egg laying that lies ahead.
It’s not clear if the female owl judges whether her mate will be a good provider by the gifts he brings her. But his willingness to provide food for her-and her willingness to accept it-will be important in the weeks ahead. Because the female will rely on the male to feed her as she lays eggs, incubates them, and then broods the young owlets.

Copulation or mating (bonding) is called by ornithologist- treading. This takes place after the buildup of a courtship. In barn owls, a gift of food is the prelude.