Sunday, February 19, 2012
Countdown to Hatching
Iris has been incubating her first egg for 29 days. As I understand it, incubation is supposed to take 32-34 days in Great Horned Owls, so we are getting close to hatching.
I've asked people to keep an eye and ear out for signs of Iris talking to the eggs and/or the eggs talking to her. This morning a viewer reported Iris potentially talking to the eggs. I took a quick peek at the video and thought Iris was just clucking because she had food in her beak and it was breeding season.
Later in the day I reviewed the full night's video and realized that IRIS had brought this food to the nest. This is the first time she's done that. And she appeared to be trying to feed it to the eggs while clucking, although it was much too big a piece for a tiny chick to eat.
Later on she took the food in one foot while still sitting on the nest and tore off two chunks and ate them. She has never torn food up on the nest to eat...she's only eating the small pieces that Rusty brings which can be swallowed whole.
She messed around with the remainder of the gopher a few times, trying to move it to the edge of the nest bowl. It kept sliding back down by the eggs.
But this is new behavior, which to me indicates we're on hatch watch now. So look and listen for sounds of baby chicks in eggs or Iris talking to the eggs. I REALLY hope we can hear them before they hatch!
But yes, she still definitely has eggs, as can be seen in this photo from today.