Barn owl pair lays second clutch of eggs in 2017
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 21:17

INDIANAPOLIS - The barn owl pair on a DNR nest cam in southern Indiana is incubating a second clutch of eggs this season.

So far, the mother owl has laid five eggs in the second clutch, with the possibility of more to come. Barn owls can lay up to 11 eggs per clutch.

Barn owl breeding season usually lasts from March to October, but this is the first time this pair has laid eggs this late in the year while on the nest cam.

This pair raised six chicks earlier this year. Those birds fledged in late spring.

“The survival of the hatched chicks will depend on food availability over the next three months,” said Allisyn Gillet, DNR Fish & Wildlife nongame bird biologist. “It’s exciting to see them lay a second clutch.”

A barn owl pair has been living in this DNR-built nest box inside a metal pole barn in southern Indiana almost every year for the last eight years.

Barn owls were once common in the Midwest, living in hollow trees and wooden barns, and hunting hayfields, idle grain fields, pastures and other grasslands for meadow voles. But many wooden barns are being torn down, and few modern farms offer the land a barn owl needs for hunting.

The goal of the webcam is to promote public interest in birds and raise awareness about efforts to support barn owls.

DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program has been placing nest boxes for barn owls since 1984. The nest boxes, like the one the webcam owls use, give owls a safe place to raise their young. More information is atwildlife.IN.gov/3382.htm

The barn owl webcam can be viewed anytime with an unlimited number of viewers atwww.youtube.com/watch?v=dNc5f0Ohmfw&feature=youtu.be.

The barn owl is one of more than 750 animal species, including many rare and endangered animals, supported by the DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program, which depends on donations to the DNR Nongame Fund. You can donate at EndangeredWildlife.IN.gov.

For updates on Indiana’s nongame wildlife, subscribe to an email list at bit.ly/2j9hY0O.