Hatching of owl a real hoot

At least one great horned owl egg has hatched on Ellis Bird Farm. Myrna Pearman, a biologist and site services manager at the farm, said there is another egg or even more eggs waiting to hatch in nest.

At least one great horned owl egg has hatched on Ellis Bird Farm.

Myrna Pearman, a biologist and site services manager at the farm, said there is another egg or even more eggs waiting to hatch in nest. Pearman said the depth of the nest is making it difficult to tell.

“I don’t know what to say if it is owlet or owlets,” she said.

“We are waiting to see if we could see another little head move.

Definitely one has hatched. She’s just sitting on it. She has to leave the nest before we can see what is underneath her.”

Great horned owls sit on their eggs for a 30-day incubation period and typically have one to five eggs at two-day intervals. The female begins to incubate as the first egg is laid. Pearman said the eggs can take up to 24 hours to hatch.

“We were expecting any day,” she said. “In fact I thought they would have hatched last week. Because of the snow, she was sitting in snow even before she laid her eggs. I guess to keep the nest dry. So we don’t know when the eggs were hatched. The nest is fairly deep and the way the camera is positioned we couldn’t tell how many eggs were in the nest. We just guessed where to put the camera.”

She thinks the egg may have hatched either Friday night or early Saturday morning. One of the chatters or viewers captured video footage of the new owlet Saturday evening.

The Owl Cam has been active since March 9th, and the pair, Ellie and Albert, were first observed on March 13. Ellie has been sitting on the nest since March 15. The great horned owls have a loyal group of followers or chatters who tune into the webcam daily. In fact, it was the chatters who named the owls. Pearman said there will be a naming contest for the new owlet. In the meantime, they will determine how many owlets hatched.

To view the footage, go to www.ustream.tv and type “Ellis Bird Farm owl” into the search box at the top of the page.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com