Sunday, January 22, 2012

Iris Laid an Egg!

Break out the cigars because Iris laid an egg! This is the first egg she has laid in captivity, and Rusty wanted to see the egg for himself. In this video clip Iris has just left the nest to take a break, and the top of the egg is just barely visible in the nest bowl. Rusty flies over to check out the egg, and looks for the world like he's going to sit on it himself.

Iris apparently doesn't think this is a good idea, so she flies immediately back to the nest and seems to politely talk Rusty into getting off the nest and letting her sit on the egg.

Interestingly, Alice really doesn't like it if I check out her egg while she's off her nest either.

Hopefully Iris will lay a second egg. She took a 24 minute break this morning to sit next to Rusty while he ate, then he fed her his leftovers, which she took and ate before returning to the nest.

If all goes well we should have little owlets during our International Festival of Owls!


  1. (screwball again...Argh--the browser just ate my comment--starting again...and it *STILL* won't verify me!)

    Congratulations to all!

    Hmm...just saw Iris leave the nest briefly (starting around 08:03 PST), then Rusty seemed to be trying to see into the nest from the log perch, then he headed to the nest, walked down into the nest bowl, seemed to settle on top of the egg, and started rummaging. Iris promptly returned, perched on the edge of the platform, and burbled at Rusty. Rusty exited the bowl and headed back to the log perch, while Iris looked at the nest, then settled back into the nest bowl. A bit earlier (lost the timestamp, sorry), Rusty brought Iris a partial prey item, accompanied by a hoot exchange somewhat like what's in the video clip--they seem to have toned down the volume, plus Iris burbles a fair amount during these exchanges (thanks for the reply to my previous post, btw).

    It's interesting to observe the changes in behavior as things progress. Here's hoping for a successful nesting season!

    1. Congratulations, Iris, Rusty, and Karla. I keep thinking how much you must be learning about the vocalizations of owls . Loved Rusty trumpeting his pride last night. It sure seemed as if he wanted the entire forest to know about the egg .

  2. This is exciting stuff! Yes, screwball, I was lucky enough to see the events you described for this morning, with Rusty bringing Iris food, she flew off to eat, and Rusty tried to settle on the egg. Cool stuff!!

  3. Congrats on the egg! So excited to hear there is an egg! Hoping for at least one more and can't wait for them to hatch! Sure hope the month goes by quickly :)

  4. Congratulations on the first egg . . . and here is hoping it will have a sibling!

  5. Congratulations on the first egg !

  6. Morning!

    Heard something different just now--at 05:04 PST, Rusty brought food to Iris on the nest, and she twittered when she took it. Rusty hooted once after the delivery, then went to the log perch. About a minute later, Iris picked up the food item and went to the perch by the release cage entry to eat. Rusty watched her go there, then turned around and seemed to be trying to see into the nest, but stayed put. He's now back to watching Iris eating. Still looks like there's only the one egg in the nest, but it's hard to tell from this camera angle.

    Iris is back at the nest at 05:15--she lands on the platform edge and inspects the nest and takes a quick look around before walking down into the nest bowl.

    Just out of curiosity--are there any temperature sensors by the nest area? Just wondering if there's an appreciable difference in the amount of time she spends off the nest as conditions change. Interesting also that she takes her food elsewhere to eat instead of eating on the nest (as barn owls seem to do)--is this normal behavior for GHOs?

  7. Sorry, no temperature sensors around the nest. Yes, it's normal for GHOs to eat their food elsewhere...they keep the nest area immaculately clean normally--no pellets or poop under the nest tree until the kids get big enough to make a mess.

  8. I'm so glad I was there for this moment, and that we all guessed correctly about the egg!

  9. Hi--

    Thanks as always for the responses! It's interesting how nesting habits differ among species. Just saw Iris leave the nest at around 9:14 PST to go to Rusty on the log perch, sit for a bit, then defecate before returning to the nest at around 9:20. I'm guessing she'll do something similar when it's time to cast a pellet?