UPDATE 4/9: Got this from Wendy on Thursday, haven’t had a chance to blog.
“Just a quick up date on the Owl Cam at Sulphur Creek. Five eggs have hatched to date and we expect the 6th egg to hatch on Good Friday, April 6th. All the babies seem to be doing well. The male had been bringing in food at night and mom has been patiently feeding the little babies (owlets) little pieces of rodent that the dad brought in. The owl cam has been a huge success. Since put onto the web three weeks ago, we now have had over 35,000 hits by 4,000 viewers from 25 countries. Images of the babies show that the owlet the first hatched is substantially bigger than his siblings, but all are doing well.”
Feel like snooping on some feathered friends? Sulphur Creek Nature Center set up a camera to record what’s going on with a pair of wild, nesting barn owls and their six eggs. They expect them to hatch any day, and you can take a real-time peek at what’s going on right now on the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District website.
The small camera was placed in a nesting box that is used every year, said Wendy Winsted, an coordinator at the center. It is equipped with infrared light, so activity in the box can be watched 24 hours a day.
Winsted said the first egg is expected to hatch between now and Monday, and the others will follow at two-day intervals.
That’s different than for, say, ducks, because owls lay an egg and immediately start incubating it, Winsted said. Ducks also lay an egg every two days or so but wait until they’re all done before they incubate the lot of ‘em. So they all hatch at once.
With owls, Winsted said, the first egg out will contain an owl with considerable advantages over its peers. It will always be the one that’s a bit bigger.
Winsted is very excited about the owl-cam, and said they tried something similar years ago with a system wired to a VCR. But going public with it brings an all new element.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Winsted said, adding that technological assistance was provided by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park Department, funding from the Castro Valley Rotary Club.
More info on press release after the jump.