Knee-Deep in Owlets

Ward made two deliveries last night and followed them up with two daylight deliveries this morning. The last one came at 10 am when he delivered the large mouse shown here. This was his last of the day, as crows could be heard chased him for much of the afternoon. With help from yesterday's leftovers, however, there was plenty of food for all the owlets and they appear to be developing very rapidly. If the crows continue their harassment, Ward will have a difficult time keeping up with the owlet's growing appetites over the nest few days. If the weather remains warm, the owlets will soon be able to stay alone in the nest  for many hours, so  that June should be able to help out with the hunting.
Every time June gets up to turn around, the owlets scramble around underneath her and make it very difficult for her to find a place to step. Fortunately, the owlets are already very tough customers and just do some loud peeping when she does step on one of them. That's Woody peeping out from behind Dexter on the left, while Daphne is underneath June and about to get stepped on. She and Dexter are already starting to show the beginnings of  brown feathers in their wings and back, while Woody remains pure white. Feather preening is a major activity in the nest with June spending many hours each day preening each owlet. The owlets are also chipping in by preening some of their own feathers and have even been seen preening each other's feathers since they were only four days old. Preening is an important activity in the owl's social life that keeps their feathers clean as well as helping to bind them together as a family. 

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