Take care over chicks

IT IS not unusual at this time of year, in our local woodlands, to find tawny owl chicks on the ground, usually near the base of a tree.

These small white bundles of fluff may no longer be in the nest, but they are not alone.

A close scrutiny of the surrounding trees will probably reveal an adult sat on one of the branches, keeping a close eye on its progeny.

It is important that these young owls are not touched or moved and they should certainly not be taken away. They have not been abandoned. Once night falls, the parent birds will feed them. The quiet and attentive late night walker may hear the chicks calling loudly for food, their calls getting more impatient as the parent approaches, finally falling silent for a short time while food is being received.

Dog walkers should be especially aware that these chicks, which are very vulnerable at this time, are present and keep a watchful eye on their dogs.

Richard Knisely-Marpole