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, June 29, 2013

Adventures with Mel and Syd

How do owls catch their food?

Owls generally have a hunting territory away from their daytime roost. All Owls are equipped with special adaptations that make them efficient predators. Keen eyesight allows them to locate prey even on dim nights. Sensitive, directional hearing helps locate concealed prey.

Some species can even hunt in complete darkness using sound alone to guide them to a successful kill. An Owl's flight is silenced by special wing feathers, that muffle the sound of the air rushing over the surface of the wing. This allows an Owl to hunt by stealth, taking their victims by surprise. It also allows the Owl to listen for prey movements while still flying.

Most species hunt from a perch, such as a low branch, stump or fence post. They will wait for prey to appear, and swoop down with open wings, and their talons stretched forward.

Some species will fly or glide a little way from the perch before dropping on the victim. In some cases, the Owl may simply drop on the target, opening their wings at the last moment. Other owl species prefer to soar, or make quartering flights, scanning the ground below for a suitable meal. When a target is located, the Owl will fly towards it, keeping its head in line with it until the last moment. This is when the Owl pulls its head back, and thrusts its feet forward with the talons spread wide - two pointing backwards and two forwards. The force of the impact is usually enough to stun the prey, which is then dispatched with a snap of the beak.

A 3rd owl flies onto the playground. Was this a fake handoff and a beaking friendly gesture or was this an attempt to attack or chase away? 
Well that depends on who you ask.. What do you think??

If you have a facebook account, you may be able to view the video HERE