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Barn Owl - Attempt 2 (TX) — 2009

Barn Owl - Attempt 2

Location: Italy, TX

Hosted by: Anonymous

First Egg Date: Mar 28, 2009

Clutch Size: 6

Incubation: Mar 29, 2009

Hatch Date: May 03, 2009

Number of Nestlings: 1

Fledge Date: Jun 27, 2009

Number of Fledglings: 1

Note: 8/31 - All looks good in TX!

Photo Highlights (106)

  • - Barn Owl_Italy_apr2.jpg
    Second nesting attempt at this site

    Apr 02, 2009 -
    She currently is incubating three eggs. Barn Owls initiate incubation with the first egg. Note with this transmitter there is no sound. Cam host will swap in a transmitter with sound soon.

    Three Eggs pic from Flyhi

    Apr 03, 2009 -
    Barn Owls lay one egg every 2-3 days and incubate them from 29 to 34 days.

    Report from Flyhi

    Apr 04, 2009 -
    The female is getting frequent food deliveries from the male, and apparently a part of the stomach of some unidentified prey was "flung over the partition" by the female.

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    Fourth egg

    Apr 06, 2009 -
    The fourth egg arrived on Saturday. Thanks for the pic Flyhi! View video highlight of egg rotation.

    The fifth egg

    Apr 07, 2009 -
    Yesterday the fifth egg was laid. Generally the size of the clutch depends on local conditions and increases with food supply and after mild winters in some areas.

    Frightened Female

    Apr 08, 2009 -
    Something scared the female and prompted her to start calling. See video highlights.

    Male Visiting

    Apr 10, 2009 -
    The male makes a visit to the nest box. See video highlights for a clip.

    Messy Nest

    Apr 13, 2009 -
    Notice on the left of the nest a dead rodent being saved for later and also an old discarded egg. View video highlights for a clip of the female cleaning.

    No Food

    Apr 15, 2009 -
    The female seems to be curious about whats in her nest, but she goes back to incubating when she finds something that isn't food.

    Quite the Meal

    Apr 18, 2009 -
    For those of you that missed the big meal, Cdoodle sends in this pic. It is day 22 of incubation so we are looking at the last week of April for hatching to begin.

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    First Course

    Apr 21, 2009 -
    A participant sent in this great clip of the female barn owl about to eat a rather large meal.

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    Getting Up

    Apr 24, 2009 -
    It's important for the female to get up every once in a while to stretch and preen. See video highlights for a preening clip.

    Leaving for the Night

    Apr 27, 2009 -
    The female gets up, does a little stretching, and leaves for a little while during the night. See Video Highlights for a clip.

    Egg Rotation

    Apr 29, 2009 -
    Rotation of eggs is very important and this female Barn Owl does it often when she readjusts her position. See Cam Highlights for a clip.

    One or two?

    May 03, 2009 -
    It's hard to tell if there are one or two...

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    Barn Owl - Hatchling

    May 03, 2009 -
    You might need a magnifying glass...but Cdoodle sends in this image of the first hatchling.


    May 04, 2009 -
    Late night viewer Stan sends in an updated photo. The Owlet kind of looks bigger already...

    Still Only One

    May 06, 2009 -
    Barn owl chicks have a staggered hatching, so they don't all hatch together. But it seems like there is still only one so far.

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    Feeding Time

    May 07, 2009 -
    Kimberly sent us this great image of the female feeding the (so far) single nestling. View nestling feeding clip by NDPeter.


    May 08, 2009 -
    The female is spending a lot of time feeding her chick.

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    5 Eggs and a Chick

    May 11, 2009 -
    Christine sent us this image. It appears that the female rolled the dud egg in with the rest and the chick is sitting in the foreground.

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    Sleep Hooting?

    May 15, 2009 -
    It seems like the female barn owl starts hooting in her sleep. She wakes up herself and baby "Zilla." See the video highlights for a clip.

    Large Meal

    May 20, 2009 -
    The female starts eating a large rodent while JR. watches. See Video Highlights for a clip.

    Feeding Time

    May 22, 2009 -
    The female feeds the chick. Take a look at the video highlights for a clip.

    Left Alone

    May 26, 2009 -
    JR. is left alone for a little while. When the female comes back, she continues to try and incubate the eggs. See the video highlights for a clip.

    Big Chick

    May 27, 2009 -
    The single chick is now almost as big as the adults!

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    Over the Barrier

    May 28, 2009 -
    A participant, Owler, sent us this image of the chicks first crossing over the barrier.

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    Rodent Tail

    May 29, 2009 -
    One of our participants sent in this picture of the chick with a rodent tail sticking out of its mouth.

    Growing Up

    May 29, 2009 -
    This chick is growing fast. Already able to stand up, it is doing well. See video highlights for a clip.

    Quick Learner

    Jun 03, 2009 -
    At exactly one month old, this chick is growing very fast. He is already learning how to sleep while standing, though most barn owl chicks don't get the hang of it until around 45 days.

    Favorite Spot

    Jun 05, 2009 -
    The chick and female have been spending a lot of time in these two spots over the last couple of days. The female is grooming in the foreground while the chick is also grooming behind her.


    Jun 08, 2009 -
    The male delivered a meal and the chick gulped it down before the female even got to touch it. Image was sent to us by Flyhi.

    How Old?

    Jun 10, 2009 -
    Zilla is now approximately 40 days old. It may start taking it's first flights as early as day 50 to as late as day 65.

    Almost Grown

    Jun 17, 2009 -
    We're glad to say Zilla is almost grown. At 47 days old, this young owl should be taking test flights soon. However, Zilla will probably continue to roost in the nest box for several weeks after he starts flying.


    Jun 19, 2009 -
    Zilla is eating things all by herself now. Here she is having a breakfast of some unidentifiable rodent.


    Jun 22, 2009 -
    As the chick grows closer to fledging, it has to learn how to hunt on its own. Here, Zilla is getting in some pouncing practice.

    Hot Zilla

    Jun 24, 2009 -
    Zilla has been holding his wings out a lot lately. With temperatures over 90 degrees outside, this is one way that he is able to keep cool.

    Soon To Go

    Jun 26, 2009 -
    Most barn owl chicks start to fly between 50 and 65 days old. Today, Zilla is 55 days old. He should be heading into the outside world soon.

    Fight in the Box

    Jun 29, 2009 -
    This image, sent to us by Flyhi, shows a fight that broke out when a strange owl entered the box.

    I'm Back

    Jun 29, 2009 -
    Though Zilla has basically fledged from the nest, he can still be seen. Barn owl fledglings will roost in their nest cavity for several weeks after first flight. This roosting may last up to 8 weeks.

    Every Morning

    Jul 01, 2009 -
    Every morning Zilla returns to the box, just like clock work.

    Empty Box

    Jul 15, 2009 -
    Though the box is empty, we are still keeping the cam up. Hopefully, one of the adults will start roosting again.

    A Visitor!

    Jul 17, 2009 -
    After such a long period, we finally have a visitor to the box. It's hard to tell who this individual might be, but it could be one of the adults.

    Broods Per Season

    Jul 20, 2009 -
    In some parts of the world, it is common for barn owls to have up to two or three clutches in a season. In some areas, they are suspected to have continuous breeding! If a second clutch were to occur, it may start between now and mid-August.

    Bird Signs

    Jul 22, 2009 -
    Though the box may be empty this morning, what is on the bottom of the box can still be interesting. This box is loaded with owl pellets, old carcasses, unhatched eggs, and molted feathers.

    Nesting Locations

    Jul 24, 2009 -
    Barn Owls vary greatly in the nest location they might select. These locations may include: trees, cliffs, caves, riverbanks, church steeples, barn lofts, haystacks, or nest boxes.


    Jul 27, 2009 -
    Immaturity is the most dangerous time for Barn Owls. During this stage, most will have fatal accidents. Anywhere from 5% to 50% of these deaths may be caused by cars.

    Full Picture

    Jul 27, 2009 -
    Participant PaulaP was able to do get a picture of more than just owl legs!

    Participant Pic

    Jul 28, 2009 -
    PaulaP sent us this image she took last Friday of an owl playing with a feather in the box.

    Participant Pic

    Jul 29, 2009 -
    Participant Flyhi sent in this image of the owl enjoying a nice rodent meal a couple days ago.

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    Jul 31, 2009 -
    OwlLuvr sent in this image of one of the owls back in the box, where it stored this very large rodent.

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    Aug 02, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us yet another great image of the owl in the box. This one is "goofing around".


    Aug 05, 2009 -
    The box sits there empty. But if you are missing Zilla, be sure to check out the "Singing Owl" video one of our participants sent in. It is listed under video highlights.

    Owl sighting

    Aug 12, 2009 -
    Qsquitieri sent us this image of two owls in the nest this morning. While this may be "Zilla" and a parent, it is more likely that Zilla has dispersed from the natal site and that these are the adult parents from the previous brood.

  • 17 visit.JPG

    Aug 17, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us this image of an owl in the box early this morning. It spent some time there grooming before taking off.

    Owl Box

    Aug 19, 2009 -
    The nest box is just the first step to attracting owl to your area. Try building your own box with plans found here:

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    More Activity

    Aug 24, 2009 -
    The barn owls had a lot of activity over the weekend. One of the participants sent in this image of two adults mating!

    Camera Angle

    Aug 26, 2009 -
    Most viewers have already noticed the new camera angle. Now, if an owl is in the box, more than just their feet will be in view!

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    Owl Visit

    Aug 29, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us this great image of an owl in the box. With the improved camera angle, that nice round face is finally visible.

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    Thanks Flyhi

    Sep 02, 2009 -
    Flyhi always seems to get some great images. This morning, she caught this owl in the box for a little while.

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    Two Adults

    Sep 03, 2009 -
    Participant Allyson sent in this image of two owls in the box. The adult on the left is the female and the one on the right is the male. Females tend to have a greater amount of spotting and darker coloration than the males. They are also slightly larger.

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    Pair Bonding

    Sep 04, 2009 -
    PaulaP1 sent us this image of the two adults preening in the box. Barn owls are monogamous and usually mate for life. Preening each other is one form of strengthening the pair bond.

    Cam Down

    Sep 08, 2009 -
    The camera went down for a couple days over the weekend. However, it is back up now with the box empty.


    Sep 15, 2009 -
    Because of the weather the Texas has been having, the feed from the camera had quite a bit of static. However, the image is clear now.

    Camera Back Up

    Sep 17, 2009 -
    Despite the weather Texas is having, we're trying to keep the camera feed up and running. Everything is looking good this morning!

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    Two In the Box

    Sep 21, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us this image, among others, that features two owls in the box.

    Side View

    Sep 23, 2009 -
    Last night, Ziliz sent us this side view of the owl.

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    Male and Female

    Sep 25, 2009 -
    Participant Debbie B. sent us this image of two owls. We believe the owl on the right is a female and the one on the left is a male. This can be determined by the size, females are larger than the males, and the spotting, females have more spots and larger spots than the male.

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    Sep 29, 2009 -
    Cam Watcher Debbie sent in this image of a roosting owl. The owls may not always roost in the same place. They may have up to 8 different roosting sites within a 10 mile radius of the nest!

    Same Owl?

    Oct 01, 2009 -
    When Flyhi sent us in this image, she brought up a good point. It is difficult to determine whether this is the exact same female seen before. The spot patterns and other common markers change with preening. However, since Barn Owls are fiercely territorial of nesting sites, there is a good chance it is the same owl.

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    A Likely Nesting?

    Oct 06, 2009 -
    Many viewers have been wondering about a second nesting attempt. Barn Owls have been known to nest year round. However, with no mating activity seen, it is doubtful that a nesting attempt is coming.


    Oct 08, 2009 -
    Barn Owls, like other birds, are prone to having mites on their feathers. Thus, frequent grooming is an essential part of feather maintenance.

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    Oct 09, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us this image of the quizzical owl. It left the box right before the weather got bad.

    Made It Through

    Oct 12, 2009 -
    Despite some crazy weather over the weekend, the barn owl cam has made it through. Here the female is sleeping soundly, looking like she doesn't have a care in the world.


    Oct 15, 2009 -
    For a little while the owl seemed frightened of something outside the box. In North America, the Barn Owl's greatest threat is thought to be the Great Horned Owl. However, there has not been a lot of research done on this topic.

  • 16 stretching.JPG

    Oct 16, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us this image of the Barn Owl taking a nice stretch. With a 3.5 foot wing span, getting a good stretch in that box can be hard.

    Peeking Out

    Oct 19, 2009 -
    The camera went down for part of the weekend. However, it is back up with the female watching out the nest box entrance.

    Empty Box

    Oct 21, 2009 -
    For the first time in a couple weeks, the owl is missing from the box first thing this morning, eastern time. With days getting shorter, the barn owl is able to stay out and hunt longer.

    Facial Crest

    Oct 23, 2009 -
    Unlike other bird species, Barn Owls have a sort of crest down the front of their face. This is caused by the parting of the feathers, as they are arranged around the head to help direct noise to the ears.

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    Looking Out

    Oct 26, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us this great image of the barn owl looking out of the box.

    Feather Part

    Oct 28, 2009 -
    In this picture, the owl may look like it has a gash on its head, but it doesn't. The feathers part down the center of the barn owl's face. They are specifically arranged to help divert sound to the sensitive ears.

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    Happy Owlaween!

    Oct 30, 2009 -
    Flyhi thought it was appropriate to dress up our owl for its Halloween celebrations. So, she sent us in this image.

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    Two Owls!

    Nov 02, 2009 -
    Flyhi, once again caught a great image this morning. Two owls were in the box. The female that has been roosting is on the left and a male is on the right.

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    Very Excited

    Nov 03, 2009 -
    Debbie B. sent in this image of the two owls in the box. Everyone is very excited to see them both. As the months get colder, and breeding season approaches, we will probably see them together more often.


    Nov 04, 2009 -
    Many aspects of how Barn Owls spend their time are unknown. However, it is theorized that they are such efficient hunters that they spend most of their time loafing around!

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    All In the Spots

    Nov 05, 2009 -
    Debbie B. sent us this image of the back of an owl. It was found that the proportion of the female plumage covered with spots is correlated with offspring parasite resistance. Thus, males prefer heavily spotted females.

    Head Rotation

    Nov 06, 2009 -
    Ziliz sent us in this great image of the owl rotating it's head. Most owls are about to turn their heads about 270 degrees!

    The Wing

    Nov 09, 2009 -
    One of our participants sent in this image of a female with a wing anomaly. We don't know what caused this but, as the bird can still fly and seems to be doing okay, we are not concerned as of yet.

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    Midnight Visit

    Nov 11, 2009 -
    Debbie B. managed to catch this image of an owl visiting late last night.

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    Two in the Box

    Nov 12, 2009 -
    Flyhi sent us in this image of two owls in the box. To her, it seems like one of the owls is asking permission to enter the box.


    Nov 13, 2009 -
    Participant Nancyhmo caught this image of preening by the owl with the strange wing.

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    Wing Roosting

    Nov 17, 2009 -
    Debbie B. sent in this image of the owl our participants have fondly named "Wing." There has been some questions regarding the sex of the bird. Unfortunately, we don't know. Without capturing the owl to take measurements, it can be hard to judge the sex.


    Nov 18, 2009 -
    We had a biologist here at the Lab of Ornithology take a look at the image of "Wing". He believes that the drooping is definitely caused by some kind of injury. However, as long as the bird is able to fly and appears to be doing well, it is not a direct cause for concern.

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    Male and Female

    Nov 19, 2009 -
    Nancyhmo sent us another great shot of two owls in the box. Based on size and spots, we believe the bird on the right to be a male and the bird on the left, Wing, to be a female.

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    A Male

    Nov 23, 2009 -
    Over the weekend, Nancyhmo sent us this image of a male in the box. It can be identified clearly as a male due to the distinct lack of spotting under the wing.

    Two Owls

    Nov 30, 2009 -
    We got this image from Zilliz. She was very excited to finally be able to catch a glimpse of two owls in the nest box.

    Sending Images

    Dec 02, 2009 -
    All of the images our participants send in are absolutely great. When you send images, make sure to send them to Also, save them in a jpeg (.jpg) format with the date in the name. Finally, make sure you attach the file to the email. We get a lot of emails with no attachments!

    Wing's Wing

    Dec 03, 2009 -
    Many people noted that the barn owl, now named Wing, seemed to be having a little more difficulty. However, Nancyhmo was able to catch this image of Wing preening as if nothing was wrong.


    Dec 04, 2009 -
    The Barn Owl is one of the most wide ranging avian species. They can be found in a range of habitats across every continent.

    Dinner Time

    Dec 07, 2009 -
    Participant Ovolemio sent in this image of the owl enjoying a nice large breakfast.

    Sticking Out

    Dec 09, 2009 -
    Wing's wing seems to be sticking out a little more than usual today. There are several different factors that may cause this. One of them could be that she just had a long, hard night of hunting.

    The Many Races

    Dec 11, 2009 -
    Up to 46 different races of the Barn Owl have been described worldwide. The North American form is the largest, weighing more than twice as much as the smallest race from the Galapagos Islands.


    Dec 14, 2009 -
    Ziliz managed to capture an image with a little bit of color for us. The female owl tends to have a darker buff coloring and more of it. The male is usually lighter with very little buff coloring.

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    Lone Male

    Dec 15, 2009 -
    Debbie B. caught this image of the male alone in the box. Nancyhmo also notes that she caught an attempted copulation late the other night. We might be close to another nesting attempt!

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    Looking Good

    Dec 17, 2009 -
    Nancyhmo sent in this image of Wing in the box. She is holding her injured wing closer to her body, meaning that it isn't bothering her as much today.

    Two in the Box

    Dec 18, 2009 -
    The NestCams staff will be going on holiday a little early. This pair sitting in the box makes a great final highlight for the 2009 season! Thanks for your support everyone!

Video Highlights (15)

Apr 08, 2009 - Frightened Female

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Apr 10, 2009 - Male Barn Owl
Barn Owls will continue to mate throughout incubation and rearing of the chicks in order to maintain the pair bond.

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Apr 13, 2009 - Female Cleaning

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Apr 15, 2009 - Female in Box

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Apr 24, 2009 - Female Preening

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Apr 27, 2009 - Female Up and Out

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Apr 29, 2009 - Rotating Eggs
The female is very careful when she gets up to move about. Also, when she sits back down, she uses that opportunity to rotate her eggs.

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May 06, 2009 - Nestling Feeding & Flinging
NestCams viewer NDPeter is capturing some excellent video clips. At about 4:30 in the clip the nestling hangs on too tightly to a piece of food and gets flung to the wall. Thanks for sharing!

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May 15, 2009 - Sleep Hooting?

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May 20, 2009 - Large Meal

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May 22, 2009 - Feeding Time

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May 26, 2009 - Chick and Female
The video takes a second for the image to clear.

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May 29, 2009 - Bored
Being the only chick must get a little lonely. This one plays with some of the debris around the box until one of the adults comes back with a meal.

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Aug 04, 2009 - The Singing Owl
One of our participants made this great video using some of the images she took from the cam. Check out her video of the singing owl and make sure to turn up the sound!

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