Hi and welcome to my Blog, my name is Paul Riddle and I live in south Leicestershire, UK. Back in August 2007 my quest began to locate as many local Little Owl territories as possible. The driving force was a reported decline in the uk numbers so I thought I would do my bit and conduct a study in my area. After 7 years and countless hours out in the field I have detected over 200 different sites. With a thirst for a greater understanding of the owls a more comprehensive monitoring and nest box programme then commenced. This also now includes monitoring the local and very sparse population of Barn Owls, please pop back occasionally and catch up with the life and times of my owls and any other wildlife that I come across. I hope you enjoy your visit!!!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Picking on the smallest!

The local Barn Owls are still doing OK with their second brood of the year. Most evenings I manage to sit down for a few minutes in front of my PC and catch up with all the latest antics via the nest box camera.

I can now confirm that of the 7 eggs initially laid only six of them hatched, but that's a pretty dam good ratio considering how late in the year we are. So one would now expect to see six healthy chicks in the box albeit at different rates of growth. Well that was the case up until last night, I know the image quality is poor but no matter how hard I looked I could only make out four chicks. So as to confirm the exact numbers and their different sizes I went back through the recording archives. And it didn't take much searching before my suspicions were confirmed, there has been some devious acts taking place which confirms why the numbers have been dwindling!
This latest snap shot just looks like a mass of white fir, but look closer and the five chicks can be made out, to make it easier I have numbered four of them.........see them all now? 

If you are now asking yourself why did I say there was five chicks but only four can be seen? Well look harder, I didn't number the fifth chick on purpose!

Did you find it..............????

Well take another look at the top of chick No 4, see that funny shaped leggy thing? Well that is chick No 5! Well to be exact its legs and feet, they were kicking back and forth relentlessly, just before it was EATEN!!!!!

I think this now explains where chick No 6 also went, and where I suspect chick No 2 will be going soon, he is too small, too tasty and doomed!!!!!


  1. Yeah chick 1 is looking at it in a very "dodgy" way. Given the weather and time of year, not to surprising. Even if only one makes it, I think that can be counted as a result.

  2. Wildlife can seem very barbaric at times, but I guess this type of action ensures that the strongest survive.