Update: Six barn owl chicks hatch on southern Indiana nest cam
The barn owl pair on a southern Indiana nest cam have hatched six chicks.
Last week, the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) reported that five chicks had hatched. But the nest cam has now revealed a sixth chick also hatched. One unhatched egg remains. Having at least one infertile egg is common for a clutch of barn owl eggs.
The barn owl webcam is at wildlife.IN.gov/8183.htm. It can accommodate 20 viewers at a time.
All six owlets look healthy and are accepting food from their mother several times daily. The young owls will remain with the parents for three to five weeks after fledging.
On May 1, the owlets are scheduled to be banded, with a rain out day of May 2. The nest cam will be turned off during this time.
Banding is important for biologists to be able to track the survival of these endangered birds.
Barn owls, once common in Indiana, have declined due to loss of grassland habitat and suitable nesting locations. DNR biologists have placed more than 300 nest boxes to help improve nesting success. More information about nest boxes is at wildlife.IN.gov/3382.htm.
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. WDP depends on donations to the DNR Nongame Fund, and does not receive tax dollars. You can donate at EndangeredWildlife.IN.gov.
Donations were down more than 60 percent in 2016, most likely due to a more rigorous process for donating on state tax forms. Donation reports from 2017 are still well below the previous three-year average.
For updates on Indiana’s nongame wildlife programs, subscribe to an email list at bit.ly/2j9hY0O.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.