First Egg!

June laid her first egg of the season at 11:45 am today. She delivered it while making the same coughing sound that always signals the arrival of a new egg and threw in a couple of sneezing sounds for good measure. While she seemed fascinated as she stared at the egg, and even touched it with her feet a few times, she showed little interest in incubating it. She will not start the serious incubation until there are two eggs, so that her owlets should hatch at about the same time. Unlike in past years when she notified Ward of the arrival with loud hooting, she continued with this year's practice of complete silence while in the nest, so that Ward had no way of knowing what had happened.
Two hours after producing the egg, she climbed up into the doorway where she slept in the warm sun for almost an hour before waking up with the big yawn shown here. She then flew away to perch in a tree about 100 yards from the nest, where she called to Ward, who had not been heard around the nest for about a week. After many calls, his distant response finally came from an area that is far to the south of his normal roosting area and a much safer distance from the area where the great horned owls have been heard in recent days. I'm not sure just how this silence around the nest can continue since June's calls from the nest play an important role in letting Ward know when it's time to bring home more prey. This question should be answered in three to five days when the second egg is normally delivered and June is forced to stay in the nest to incubate the eggs full time. As of 11pm, June had not returned to the nest, but with the temperature well above freezing, her absence should not harm the egg.

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