Posted: Tuesday 14th May 2019 by Emyr MWT

Well, it happens every year doesn't it...?

Here's the video we promised of the barn owl attack on Monty over the last few days:

 

 

Q. Why does the owl attack an osprey - a much bigger bird?

A. Small birds don't like big birds. We all see crows mobbing buzzards and kites - this is the same thing, only this is in the dark so the ospreys don't take evasive action as they don't see, and more importantly hear, the incoming owl. Birds of prey in the day time have enough warning to take evasive action and get out of the way.

The barn owl and osprey may also have overlapping home ranges so this could also cause a conflict. Smaller birds will always defend their territories against larger birds.

 

Q. Could the barn owl hurt Monty or take the eggs/chicks?

A. Unlikely. Despite having zero warning Monty always comes out of these (annual) attacks seemingly unscathed. But this is nature and anything is possible - we all remember what happened to Ceri on that same perch in 2016 where she injured herself and ultimately died of her injuries.

It's difficult to envisage the barn owl getting anywhere close to being in a position to take or damage eggs/chicks - these ospreys are incredibly protective and resilient parents - and there are two of them. Again, very unlikely but the usual caveat applies - this is nature.

 


Q. Where's the safest place to sleep with a marauding barn owl on the prowl?

A. With the Missus.

 

Monty sleeping with Telyn


 

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