Saturday, 21 April 2018

Tawny Owl kills Barn Owl intruder

Tawny Owl(f) incubating next to dead Barn Owl
Events took a dramatic turn at this Tawny Owl box.

A Barn Owl entered the box and fought with the much larger female Tawny Owl.

In the melee the 4-day old Tawny Owl chick was killed.

After a 2 hour struggle, the Barn Owl was killed by the female Tawny Owl.

Part of the conflict can be viewed here:
Warning: younger viewers may find this footage distressing.
Tawny Owl and Barn Owl fighting

The Tawny Owl resumed incubating the remaining egg, but the egg did not hatch and the box was abandoned a few days later.

Footnote: the Barn Owl was unringed, and not one of the resident pair from the box 500m away. It was a female fledged last year, so was probably trying to evict the Tawny Owls and take over their nest site.