We have FOUR owlets! 

Tex and Luna hatched on 4/12 at 5:32 pm and 7:45 pm, respectively. KoKo hatched on 4/13 at 6:50 pm.  Cozmo hatched at 10:32:50 on 4/16.

Video clips with Olivia feeding her first 3 owlets and glimpses of little Cozmo will be coming soon.
Meanwhile, you can watch the entire hatch process for Luna in Luna Arrives .

As the video opens Olivia is quietly sitting on her eggs and new owlet when we watch her get excited about a hatch again and help Luna through the hatch.  Watch for glimpses of the new baby owlets.  See Olivia devour the egg shell.

Alton has been doing his best to bring in food.  Here’s a photo of him delivering a snake the night KoKo hatched.

As you can see, Olivia takes great care in feeding her babies. 

April 11


It's been 31 days since the first egg was laid. So when will we have a hatch? Any time now.

Data from another local nest

I have five years of hatch data from another local nest.  Chris Johnson raised screech owls on the web from 2000 – 2015.  I was sorry to see his stream go down, but he has outstanding photos, great video and excellent records still on his site.  It’s worth a look.  http://www.chrisowlcam.net/

Four years the clutch was eggs.  One year was eggs. 

The 4-egg clutches:

Three clutches took 7 days to lay and averaged 30.3 days between first egg laid and first egg hatched.  
One clutch took 8 days to lay and there were 32 days between first laid and first hatched.

The 5-egg clutch:

This clutch took 11 days to lay, with 34 days from first laid to first hatch.

So, what's that mean for Olivia and Alton (and us)?

It is likely that our 5-egg clutch, which took 10 days to lay will take a few more days to begin hatching. I'm guessing 33.  Sometime on April 13.

 Once hatching starts, look out! The 5-egg clutch in our data only took 3 days to hatch and the first 3 owlets hatched within 12 hours of each other. The four egg clutches hatched in 2 or 3 days.

Another consideration

According to Fredrick R. Gehlbach’s published study The Eastern Screech Owl, 1994, incubation takes longer during warmer weather.  So perhaps some impact there.

The interval of last egg laid to first egg hatched

Now here is the interesting part of Chris' data.  For all five years of data, the time between last egg laid and first egg hatched was 23-24 days. This was true whether the first egg took 30 or 34 days to hatch.  So it seems like the mother owl has rather good control over her hatch.  

Remember as we watched Olivia that she did not really incubate the first and second eggs much.  She kept them under her but remained in a standing position. She was nowhere near the laying down flat version of Olivia that we see right now.So she was just keeping the eggs warm enough to be viable, and not so warm that they would begin to develop much.  

Why keep the hatch close together?  

The owlets grow so fast.  They average just 28 days from hatch to fledge. That's from breaking out of an egg about 1 1/4 inches in diameter to becoming a 6" or so tall fully feathered and developed owlet.  

If the first owlet hatches 10 days before the last one, that’s a huge advantage to the oldest and disadvantage to the youngest in competition for food. 

So, I try to practice my patience as I wait for owlets.  

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