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The Best Thing We Ever Saw - Part 4

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Throughout the rest of July, I set up a photoshoot every morning and evening. Eventually, the owlets got used to me and their initial shyness waned. They remained calm and curious even as I climbed my ladder and snapped an insane number of photos, paparazzi-style. As each day passed, they spent more and more time sitting at the window half-asleep, day-dreaming of their first flight.  Steve and I became familiar with each of the owls so we named them. We called the oldest owlet, Flappy, because he was the most eager to fly, and spent the max time planning his first move at the window. And as we learned a little later, he practiced flapping his wings inside the tiny box to the dismay of his siblings (adult barn owls have a wingspan of up to 3 feet!).  The next in line we called Pally, because he was always cuddled up next to his best pal Flappy. He nuzzled his brother and later continued to live up to the name..(stay tuned!)  And the third one who we rarely saw because his

The Best Thing We Ever Saw - Part 3

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Night after night we heard the squawks and squeals from the box and we knew they were getting fed and growing rapidly. One early morning in July, as I got out of bed, I glanced out our bedroom window and I swear I saw a white blur in the owl box.  I rubbed my sleepy eyes and grabbed for my glasses. Yes! There was a creature sitting there! I ran for the binoculars and with great delight, I saw a sweet little furry baby peeking out at me. That evening, Steve and I cozied up on our makeshift bed, waiting to be entertained by our furry friends. And just before dark, the babies made their way back in front of the door, two this time, shy but oh so curious about the vast world beyond their tiny cubed home.

The Best Thing We Ever Saw - Part 2

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Since the owlets were mostly pink with not many feathers ,  we knew they still had up to 60 more days of maturing before we'd see them start to fledge. That is if they even survived the rest of the summer heat.  I had the idea to set up an airbed outside so that we could spend our evenings in comfort on the patio as we waited and wished for a moonlit owl flight. Each night, we'd sit quiet and still, waiting for the chirps of the babies to call out for their nightly feast. As dusk would fall, we'd see the parents swoop in, circling over the box to let them know food was on the way. The babies would squeal with utter delight at the sounds of their parents nearby. The adults would fly off in search of rats, mice, and rabbits to bring home to their growing kids. Then, just about when it was too dark to see the box, we'd hear SLAP! as dad dropped off the fresh kill, and the babies screamed at the top of their lungs in celebration.

The Best Thing We Ever Saw - Part 1

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I left you last with the hope of hearing sweet sounds of new baby owlets . We heard the new couple roosting for about 2 weeks once they moved in. Then, after about 6 weeks, it was pretty silent and we assumed they decided the box wasn't fit for their home, and we were actually pretty mad since they did so much harm to get the box in the first place. Well, it took awhile, but to our delight and surprise, after about 8 weeks we finally heard the subtle chirping of babies in the box, freshly hatched! So once again we listened each night as the chirps became more distinct and loud, and as we perked our ears we also held our breath and crossed our fingers. These little ones would survive. They had to! But, summer was ramping up, and being a little late in the season for owlets, we were worried about their health and well-being under the relentless hot afternoon sun. With temperatures reaching 100 degrees, Steve took action and bought some insulation to install on top of the box. W

Meet Owly

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Meet Owly, our beloved first ever Dwight Ranch barn owl resident who gave us many nights of pure wonderment and joy. She sat on her eggs with persistence and commitment, and waited patiently by the door for her love to bring food to their new baby owlets. She screeched, calling out when they were hungry, and danced in the air with her mate when she needed a break from feeding. Her partner was steady, beeping in each night, indicating he had treats to deliver. Back and forth all night with lovely calls to his family that he was nearby and working hard to provide. We miss our dear Owly and her family. They had no choice but to find another home.  After one night filled with multiple feeding frenzies (we could hear the chicks get excited every time food was dropped off), Steve noticed something wasn't right. Sounds of wings slapping the box, aggressive squeals and squaks filled the air...not the usual beeps and chirps that we grew fond of.  The next night, no baby feeding

Palm Paradise Time Lapse

Palm Paradise 2009-2017 from Jaime Dwight on Vimeo . Music: Cruise Control by the Dixie Dregs