Small Rewards

June made three hunting trips today that each lasted for a little less than an hour.  She moved to a new hunting perch (such as this one) after ten to fifteen minutes if she found no action in the old spot. She  limited her distance from the nest to less than 100 yards, so that she could clearly hear the owlets wheezing and rush back to the nest if they sounded threatened. Her hunting was made much more difficult by dive-bombing blue jays who, along with many smaller birds, scared off most of the potential prey.  Ward did not show up in the area until after dark and appears to be happy to let June take over the daytime hunting duties.
When June finally did head back toward the nest, the owlets were huddled together to keep warmth near the back of the box. They had already reacted to several false alarms, but responded wildly when they heard June's wailing sound as she approached. Dexter was on top of the pile at the time and was therefore able to push the other owlets over and race to the doorway before they could get back up. That's June's head sticking through the door with a very small mouse which Dexter snapped up before the other owlets arrived. It's almost dark in the nest because June is blocking the doorway which is the only source of light. This was June's only daytime delivery today, so that the owlets again had to wait till dark before they got any serious food. Ward has apparently benefited from his daytime rest and made at least six deliveries between 8pm and 11pm. It has been one continuous feast since then with no letup in the wheezing and peeping. 

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