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Submitted on
July 3, 2011
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Barn Owl Siblings by Ciameth Barn Owl Siblings by Ciameth
72-day old female Barn Owl (Tyto alba pratincola) on the left; 80 day old male Barn Owl on the right. He has a snowy-white face, and she is a good example of the darker female face, though females can sometimes have pure white faces too. These two birds were hatched at a raptor rehabilitation center. He was the first to hatch, with the other four eggs following at two day intervals. In the wild, parents do not feed their chicks equal servings. They give the most food to the hatchling that reaches for it most vigorously, which is usually the oldest. If it is a good year and the parents are able to find lots of food, all the babies might survive. If food is scarce, only the strongest, oldest birds survive. They will eat the bodies of the siblings that die of starvation in order to survive themselves.

At the rehabilitation center, all the birds get a generous helping of mice. They like to huddle together, like these siblings. When "threatened" by a person walking into the cage, the fiercer older brother puts a wing over his sister and enters a head-lowered threat display. It looks cute, but it isn't because he's a protective older brother. It is more due to their different personalities. His inclination is to stand his ground and talon anyone who gets too close, their old sister likes to run after and attack intruders, and this little girl usually flies away from perceived danger. This has made her the best flier of the brood, despite being one of the youngest. Unfortunately, it can be hard to fly away when your older brother is inadvertently holding you down. When stuck, she will often slip behind him and back up his swaying, head-lowered threat display with her own louder clacks and hisses.

This is the last picture of the female. She was released! Now she can have a (hopefully productive) life in the wild and do her part for rodent control. I have photographed her since she was hatched, and you can view the stages of her development by clicking the links below.

2 hours old:…
24 hours old:…
Six days old:…
Eleven days old:…
Fifteen days old:……
Twenty-eight days old:…
Fifty-five days old:…

For information on what to do if you find a baby bird on the ground:… Spending time on the ground is natural for baby raptors, and by "rescuing" one that is perfectly healthy, you might accidentally be kidnapping it away from its parents for no reason.
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Alphasporidium Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
WolfGirl1033 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
D'aww looks like Soren and an older version of Eglantine <3
EnigmaticMalady Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Student
I totally thought the same! 
TheMeekWarrior Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, so sweet~! :love: They're both beautiful. Such a good big brother.
DrgnLuvR Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
Look Like Soren and Kludd! :D
TwistOkishy Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Its Soren and Kludd!!! :D
ObixAni112 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Soren! But the little one looks like kludd by a lot ^^
portal2fangirl Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
they look like soren and kludd from the guardians of ga'hoole!
Jaquier Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Adorable :love:
awsmdragonqueen Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
"Get away from my sister!" :lol: I love it. Thank you for all the information and the wonderful shot too! :heart:
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