While I could easily spend every day just chilling with my owls the rest of the garden chores are piling up so this week I had a catch up. We have 6 apple trees which all have loads of fruit in spite of us being high on a hill where, apparently, apples don’t do well. The Discovery apples always look so red – like real Snow White apples!Now the freezer is full of sliced and peeled apples and I still have a load more to deal with so Apple Jelly it is.
My lovely husband has made a 5 foot self standing perch so Whisper can fly indoors too. Now I am ready whatever the weather 🙂
Both birds have happily settled into the routine of daily weigh ins – it is essential to monitor their health and be sure they are of a good weight to fly them. If they are too heavy they may not have cropped yet [cast a pellet, which also needs to be looked out for daily]. This will only lead to frustration as they will probably be more interested in everything and anything else rather than the food I am holding to entice them to fly to my hand for – as they wont be hungry until they have cast! Equally if they are weighing too light they may be unwell or too hungry and ill tempered which will not give good quality flying time. Each bird is different, so it is difficult to state what weight a bird will behave at it’s best, which is why daily weighing and record keeping will give me the information over time. Peanut and Whisper have got very used to standing on their scales every day. Whisper is so relaxed she is standing on one foot…
Peanut usually weighs around 4.8 to 5 ounces, and keeps his focus flying well at this weight. Occasionally he goes up to 5.2 ounces and isn’t interested at all – I am sure he catches bank voles in his aviary!
Whisper stays between 11.5 and 12 ounces and usually flies really well with good focus on the food. She tends to be more easily distracted by noises than Peanut, although she is 3 weeks younger than him so still a bit nervous of new things. The combine harvesters in a near field stopped our flying time short the other evening as there was no chance of getting her attention! I forgave her though and the following evening my daughter took these beautiful shots of her in flight – stunning!!