|A view from above: 3 screech owls and breakfast. Note the larger owlet on the left. |
Owl eggs hatch asynchronously, so one will be a little older than the next.
|Here I am taking the wing chord measurement of the owl.|
Note the band on her right leg.
Then I looked at her brood patch. Hormones help release breast feathers providing direct heat exchange for incubating eggs and brooding young,until owlets can thermoregulate on their own. This female's brood patch is already getting pin feathers (two dark lines under her bare skin), because the owlet's feathers now keep them warm. By fall her breast will be feathered, which will help keep her warm for the winter months.
|The brood patch, well past its use for warming chicks. Because the|
chicks now have feathers they no longer need warming by the adult.
|A view with the mom removed. The owlets are about the size |
of an adult deer mouse (right corner), and too small to band.