Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An Owlet Attempts to Eat A Small Mouse, Approx. 12:15pm 3-26-13

It took the owlet about 5 minutes, and he pulled it out and started over at least a couple of times. Iris finally tore the adult field mouse up and fed it to the owlets. But this owlet definitely deserves an "E" for effort!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Great View of Iris Feeding the Owlets

News Coverage

Rusty and Iris have been in the news lately.  Check it out!

WKBT Channel 8 in La Crosse, WI

KTTC Channel 10 in Rochester, MN:
Owlets help further study on owl communication: One-of-a-kind research is taking place while the world watches online. Both blind in their right eyes, Rusty and Iris are non-releasable Great Horned Owls, raising their owlets for the first time in captivity.

La Crosse Tribune:

Winona Daily News (same article):

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

While we haven't actually seen #3, Iris eats its shell 10:47 am 3-21-13

Come on, #3!

Owlet #3 is still in the process of hatching.  While the small pip side of the egg is still up, I wanted to share the underside of the egg that we got a fleeting look at last evening around 5:30 PM after Iris fed the kids with the pipped egg outside of her protective feathers.  There is a wide line cut across the egg, so we can realize #3 has more going on than just the little hole we can see.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

#2 Has Hatched!

Owlet #2 showed his head today for a half-hour feeding session from before 6 PM until well after.  We have two beautiful, healthy owlets!

First Owlet and Second Hatching

A good view of the first owlet, now two days old, and it's sibling starting to hatch.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Alice Tries to Steal Iris' Thunder

While Iris' egg was peeping and getting ready to hatch (which it did last night), Alice wanted her share of the attention too.  So she laid another egg yesterday!  That explains why she hasn't wanted to go to work lately.

She already laid two eggs and sat on them for 33 days, the normal incubation period.  I removed them a week before the Owl Festival, and now two weeks later she laid another egg.  She's never double-clutched like this before.  This is why I let her incubate the full time if possible, so she DOESN'T lay another clutch.

So now I'll wait to see if she lays another egg three days later.  Then I'll give her a little time and take them away.  And maybe I'll need to remove the nest basket too so she goes back to work....

We Have A Hatch!

Iris has been very good to stay on her nest.  She hasn't gotten off for over 30 hours as of this typing.  But we did get a glimpse of her first owlet being fed just after 7 AM today.  If you look closely you can see the owlet's egg tooth--the white spot on its beak.  Listen closely to hear Iris talking to the owlet and the owlet peeping back.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


OK, hatch is imminent...we have peeping in an egg, but no pip yet.  Check out the video of the owlet in the egg peeping while Iris is away from the nest for a bit.