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little owl vs jackdaw

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Old Monday 4th September 2006, 16:13   #1
Ken Tone
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little owl vs jackdaw

HI. New member here, so please forgive if I'm posting in the wrong forum or something.

We have a little owl in sight of our house using a vacated jackdaw nest, in a 'made' hole in a stable building.... a bit like a nesting box. It appears to live there pretty much full time, often perching just outside, giving us dirty looks and hiding or flying off if we get too close..

In the last week or so a couple of jackdaws seem to have taken umbrage at this. W've seen them sitting on the ledge outside the hole, peering in, in what to us seems a belligerent manner as if they are trying to reclaim their nesting place. Every now and then the owl rushes forward from the depths of the hole and chases them off.

I'm curious as to a) whether this is normal behaviour by both types of bird and b) who is going to win?

We're rather fond of "our" owl and would be sorry to see it chased off!

K.
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Old Monday 4th September 2006, 16:26   #2
Evanji Axu
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Tis normal. Crows and jays mob birds of prey often and may even attack them.
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Old Monday 4th September 2006, 17:26   #3
Ken Tone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evanji Axu
Tis normal. Crows and jays mob birds of prey often and may even attack them.
Yes. I'm used to seeing a group 'mob' a bird of prey in flight or in the open. This is so "calm" and deliberate. The 2 (and only 2) jackdaws sit on the ledge literally just outside the hole, with the owl inside, a few inches from them. They peer inside, till the owl chases them away for a bit.

But my real question was ..... Who will win the battle of wills? Are we likely to lose "our" owl? Or will it face off the jackdaws?

Is it likely the 2 jackdaws are the same ones who used the hole for a nest earlier this year?

Attached ( I hope!) is a rather shaky digiscoped picture of him/her? And btw how do you tell the difference between male and female little owls?

K.
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Old Monday 4th September 2006, 18:50   #4
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Hi Ken I see you have just joined us so may I welcome you on behalf of all the staff and moderators at Bird Forum.

I'm sorry I can't help with your questions but I'm sure there'll a few along later to discuss this.

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Old Monday 4th September 2006, 19:19   #5
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Hi Ken, and another welcome to BF.

Whatever happens, I think you should just sit back and enjoy it ; I would think that the owls are likely to win the day, not sure why but maybe because it's an unnatural site - if it were a hole in a decaying tree, there would probably be some kind of progression of different species using it, Stock Doves, Tawny Owls, etc., as the hole became enlarged.

Cheers,

Andy.

PS - the owls are likely to do a better job of keeping the vermin levels down in the yard than the Jackdaws would - that has to be a bonus!
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Old Monday 4th September 2006, 20:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Tone
Attached ( I hope!) is a rather shaky digiscoped picture of him/her? And btw how do you tell the difference between male and female little owls?

K.

How lucky you are to have a Little Owl so close by. To answer your question about male/female, the females are larger and paler than the males, although with just the one present that may not be very helpful!

Welcome to BF.
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2006, 12:57   #7
Ken Tone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kezza
How lucky you are to have a Little Owl so close by. To answer your question about male/female, the females are larger and paler than the males, although with just the one present that may not be very helpful!

Welcome to BF.
Thanks for the welcomes everybody.

I'll let you know whether the owl manages to stick it out. It was still there yesterday evening.

As to whether it's a he or a she, I guess we'll have to wait and see if another smaller or larger owl appears with it in the spring!

K.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2006, 11:57   #8
Ken Tone
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Originally Posted by Ken Tone
Thanks for the welcomes everybody.

I'll let you know whether the owl manages to stick it out. It was still there yesterday evening.

As to whether it's a he or a she, I guess we'll have to wait and see if another smaller or larger owl appears with it in the spring!

K.
Well I said I'd keep you up to date, though I doubt many of you have had sleepless nights of worry in the meantime!

The owl seemed to have 'won'. It stood its ground and we had been seeing it on the ledge outside the hole for several hours every day. The jackdaws had given up. However it has not been there for the last 3 days (at least not when we've been at home) so I fear it has left as suddenly as it arrived.

I suspect the little b***** knew I've just bought a new sony H5 with a long zoom lens and was looking forward to getting a better picture of it.

Or else it was our neighbours' inconsiderate fireworks the other evening.

K.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2006, 13:22   #9
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Thanks for the update Ken.
I would imagine its probably still in the area somewhere, so hopefully will return to you from time to time. With a bit of luck it might bring a friend with it in the spring, then you should get many photo opportunities! I do hope so. You're very lucky to have had it around for the last few weeks, I've never even seen one!
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