Friday, March 18, 2011

Molly and McGee's Two Youngest have Gone Over the Rainbow Bridge

"The two little owlets have died. These two were much, much smaller than the other owlets and came from eggs that were about a third smaller than the other five eggs. So here is an update. Molly laid seven eggs, five large and two small. Four of the large eggs hatched while one just disappeared. We assume Molly ate it but since we did not see the event we are not sure. We just know the egg disappeared. To our surprise the two small eggs hatched but the little owlets didn’t seem to grow or develop as they should have and we had concerns they would survive but after several days of them holding their own I reported, “We appear to have six healthy owlets but two very small ones.”
Again, I noted their small size and their non-development compared to the other four owlets. What is interesting is they seemed to be getting plenty of food, Molly was feeding them and they were bouncing around but they were just not developing for their age. For example, the two little owlets did not develop their little downy feathers like they should have to keep themselves warm and after almost two weeks they were still almost naked. We think this lack of warmth may have been the contributing factor in their deaths. They were alive when we went to bed and they were deceased when we got up the next morning.
The good news is Molly still has 4 healthy owlets, which is very normal for a barn owl hatch of six eggs. In most owl broods not all the eggs hatch and not all the little owlets make it to fledge. That is nature and survival of the fittest."

Quoted from Carlos Royal, March 18, 2011. Thank you Carlos for keeping us in the loop. It is nature and "The Way of the Owl".

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