David Element

 

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Birds 133 Tawny Owls

 

 

TAWNY OWL Strix aluco

 

         This family of Tawny Owls Strix aluco was very well hidden perched on one of the higher branches of a tall London Plane Platanus x acerifolia. It was a cloudy, windy day when this photograph was taken from a distance and it was purely a matter of luck that the adult and two chicks decided to huddle together. Further luck was required to provide a moment when there was a brief spell of hazy sunshine, the owls had their eyes open and they could all be seen, courtesy of a gust of wind. This photograph was the only one worthy of public display that was obtained during the entire session! Sadly, one of the chicks is known to have died during a period of cold and stormy weather. The brood was produced very early in the year as the photograph was taken in early March. It is not unknown for this species to breed so early but it is quite a high-risk strategy for a bird that it single-brooded (possibly with rare exceptions). However, as Tawny Owls are long-lived birds and during their lifetimes each pair will need to produce enough viable offspring to replace themselves the mathematical chances of many of their chicks surviving to reproductive age is comparatively small.

 

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David Element