Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A New (Unwanted?) Record

The discovery of this new female brooding her young owlets yesterday afternoon threw up a number of anomalies that go against conventional wisdom. At first glance the bird looked to be male; there was no diagnostic speckling on her breast or underwings and the edges of her facial disc were very pale for a female bird. The presence of a very large brood patch however did confirm the bird to be female. If weight is a good indicator of well being then this bird is very healthy indeed. She is the heaviest Barn Owl that I have ever encountered and I had to question the reading on my scales at first. They indicated that she weighed a staggering 497 grams which is  significantly heavier than what would be considered to be normal. I was sure that I must have made a mistake and went through the weighing process again in order to be certain. The readings did not change and I think that this lady must be the heaviest Barn Owl in Cheshire!