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Grass-owl chicks

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Pieter Steyn
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Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Pieter Steyn » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:07 pm

Hi

I thought that I would share our newest babies with you. At the back of our property there is fairly long grass. We knew that there are an adult pare of grass-owls on the property. On 2012/06/17 Saturday morning my S.O walked there to collect owl pallets to show it to our grandson. To our surprise she discovered three grass-owl babies.

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Don’t come to close to me

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Since the day we discovered the Grass-Owl babies we had all sorts of problems. With my next posting I will tell you more of the battles we had with veldt fires

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lion queen
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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby lion queen » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:12 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Absolutely beautiful!!!!...........Would love to hear more.......... :thumbs_up:
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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby naomi c » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:20 pm

Too cute for words!

Please do tell us more.

:popcorn:

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby wanderlust » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:00 pm

OMW!!
:mrgreen:

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granjan
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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby granjan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:16 pm

Beautiful - more pics as they grow would be fantastic! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Timbits » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:04 pm

Please keep us posted with stories and pictures. How great is that, to have a front row seat? :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby pops » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:18 pm

Lovely lovely lovely, one for each chick. Look forward to seeing more

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby JenB » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:06 am

Ag Pieter, that is adorable! How special is that? :D
Can't wait for the rest of the story and more pics!
:popcorn:
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DotDan
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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby DotDan » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:10 am

Wow, that is fantastic Pieter!!

Pieter, if I may be up front, is there any possibility that you would allow people to get a view of those Grass-Owls? Not the chicks.

I have searched for Grass Owls for a long time, and would really love to see one!

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Sharifa » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:51 am

Wow Pieter those chicks are absolutely adorable.

Would love to follow progress with you :thumbs_up:

:clap: :clap: :clap:

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Pieter Steyn
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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Pieter Steyn » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:06 am

Thank you for your kind remarks.
Lion Queen, Naomi C, Wanderlust, Granjan, Timbits, Pops, JenB , Dotjan and Sharifa.

Yes it is special to experience the wonder of nature.

I will keep you up to date on the chicks.

I estimate that they will leave the nest in about 2 to 3 weeks. Come to think about it will be sad day as well as a happy day when they do.

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Boorgatspook » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:28 am

Stunning, Pieter!
Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up:

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Pumbaa » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:03 am

What gorgeous little fluff balls, Pieter :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Trevor Hardaker » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:37 pm

Wow, very cool to have these on your property...! I'm jealous! Perhaps you could just give us a rough idea of where your property is...? Nothing too specific - just general area.

Thanks also for the message yesterday and sorry that I missed your call...
Trevor Hardaker

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Last World lifer: Black Bush Robin - 26 Mar '15 - Yotvata, Israel

My wildlife pics and reports: www.hardaker.co.za

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Pieter Steyn
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Re: Grass-owl chicks

Unread postby Pieter Steyn » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:28 pm

Hi

Just a little background information on the smallholding in Bapsfontein where we are staying. On my neighbour’s property and on mine there are seven (7) species of grass, as well as various indigenous plants. We have had sightings of porcupine, mongoose and genet. You can understand why I’m not keen veldt fires.

The Grass-owl lay two (2) to six (6) eggs with a four-day (4) interval in between. The chicks hatch in the sequence that they were laid. This to enable the parents to provide enough food. They normally lay their eggs in winter after most of the birds of pray have left. Competition for food is not so fears in the winter months (Please rectify me if I’m wrong)

The chicks make tunnels in the long grass and one often found chicks at various places in the long grass. However these three (3) chicks stays together. The parents sleep on my neighbour’s property (it might be a way of safe guarding there chicks) and also hunt there on a regular basis.

As normal veldt fires are often started at night. On the Wednesday after we have discovered the chicks at 12:10 am a veldt fire was started on a tar road next to my neighbour’s property. We battled for two and a half hours to do a back burn with a very strong wind blowing in our direction. We eventually managed to extinguish the fire.

Last Saturday night the same story. When it looked as if we are going to lose the battle against the fire and out of fear that the chicks might be killed in the fire. My son and I caught the three Chicks and released the quite a distance from the fire. By then my neighbour, her son and brother help us fighting the fire. Eventually after we managed to extinguish the fire we moved the chicks back to their nest.

On Monday, quite worried that the parents might abandon the chicks because we handled them I spoke to Nicky at an organisation called “Help Me” whom assured me that the parents would not abandon them. I also spoke to Gauteng nature conservation about the chicks. One of their representatives visited my place and we decided that first price would be to leave the chicks there for as long as possible. They requested me to do a fire brake around the two properties. Problem is that up to date we did not have a single day with out wind. So the fear of veldt fires still remain and I’m in close contact with Gauteng nature conservation.


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