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

Progression of the owlet

Two hatchlings at the age of 14 days. At this stage they don't much resemble the beautiful creature they will eventually become.

This next photo the pair at 21 days old.  They are just beginning to learn to balance, and their faces are beginning to show the characteristic heart shape for which their species is known.

At 29 days of age this basketful of babies is beginning to show more awareness of their surroundings, and is beginning to move about a bit.

At 33 days they are definitely more aware of their surroundings, especially if they spot their caretaker--who they perceive as a source of food.

At 42 days they are beginning to sprout their "big boy (or girl)" feathers, and are beginning to take on more of the appearance of a "real" barn owl.

At 49 days they are more fully feathered, but still have quite a bit of their baby down feathers.  They are now able to perch on branches and stumps (if a bit precariously), and are beginning to show quite a bit of curiosity about their surroundings.

At 63 days the young barn owl is almost indistinguishable from the adults of its species, although he still has quite a lot to learn.

The young fledge at 50 to 70 days of age, performing their first flight. They return to the nest to roost, for 7 to 8 weeks more. They become independent at about 3 to 5 weeks after begin flying.