Gylfie the barn owl couldn’t have had a more attentive partner in Finn. Watch this male barn owl attend to her needs as she broods their clutch of four precious eggs.
Owl Egg Incubation
Gylfie needs all her energy to keep her eggs warm as the chicks inside develop. She sits on them 24 hours a day for nearly a month, using her body heat to keep the eggs at a medium 34C.
Male Barn Owl Hunts
And as she does so , Finn keeps her sustained with a steady supply of food. He spends his days catching small rodents, like shrews, and delivers three or four meals a day,
Both owls are working hard in their respective roles, but there’s always time for affection – and Finn continues to mate with Gylfie often, even though he’s not fertilising more eggs.
Finn Fusses with Eggs
But this male barn owl is also utterly besotted by the prospect of chicks on the way and when Gylfie leaves the nest briefly, he hears a chick cheep from inside its shell. He responds by moving the egg away from the others and when Gylfie returns she seems displeased with the arrangement – she needs to keep all four eggs warm at once!
The first chick takes over an hour to fully emerge and when it does it is bald and blind… it’s incredible to think in two months this chick will be ready to fly.
Already it knows how to swallow food and Gylfie tears up a meal into bite sized morsels and then tucks it under her feathers for warmth.
Dad Meets Owlets
A few hours later, Finn sees the chick for the first time and is instantly attentive. Later, once the clutch has hatched, this male owl can’t contain his curiousity and the cameras capture him gazing intently at his owlets as they lie, snugly underneath Gylfie.
Second Egg Fails
Barn owls lay every two/three days and when a second chick does not appear for another six days, taking almost all day to emerge from its shell, it is clear one egg has failed. Gylfie soon removes the egg from underneath her.
Final Chick Hatches
Three days later, Gylfie stands to reveal a pip in the last egg. And soon, the third and final chick has hatched. Now these owl parents must work even harder to keep these tiny owlets warm and fed.
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