Little Owl lays her first egg!

On Tuesday 21st April, I eagerly visited this site to replace the spent battery with a fully charged one and to download recorded video files. As soon as I arrived, I removed the memory card from the video recorder and placed it into my laptop. I had seen a pair of Little Owls at this site during the previous week, so was hopeful that they would use this nest box for breeding in 2015. To my surprise, the system recorded 614 video files in four days! Most of these were of Little Owls entering and exiting the nest box during daylight hours and at night; I wonder when they manage to find time to sleep. 

I worked my way backwards through the videos and it didn't take me long to spot an egg. I'm absolutely delighted that this site has been used by Little Owls for the 22nd year. I will monitor this pair’s breeding attempt for the next two months. I've selected two videos to share with you; the first shows the moment when this female lays her first egg and the second shows her inspecting this egg. I hope you enjoy them. I will go back in a few days to download more videos. This Little Owl should lay another egg between now and then. Check back to see what I find during my next visit!

Little Owl lays her first egg on 20/04/2015

This video captures the moment when this Little Owl lays her first egg. She was pushing off and on for 10 minutes prior to egg laying. Her partner came in and out of the nest box but she was alone when she laid this egg at 15:29 hours.  I was surprised that she laid her egg in the afternoon. Eggs are laid on alternate days, so I'm expecting her to lay her next egg on 22/04/2015.

Female inspects her new egg for the first time

This video was recorded two minutes after this Little Owl laid her first egg. She remained out of breath for two minutes and then turned around to inspect the egg. Little Owl eggs are white with a satin finish. The egg shape is a slightly elliptical sphere.  It measures 33-40 mm long and 27-31 mm wide. A freshly laid egg weighs 14-15 grams. Female Little Owls carry out full egg incubation, which usually starts when two or more eggs have been laid. I wonder how many eggs she will lay in 2015?