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Scops owl in Spain

20/07/2006 This photo of a Scop's owl chick was sent to me by birdman Derek Ive who lives somewhere in the Sierra de Madrid. He stuck a box on the side of his house a few years ago. A pair of Scop's owls moved in and have successfully reared chicks for several years "There were four Scoplets this year, ....on July 1st we took this shot of the benjamin who flew him/herself the same night.

"The way the scops box came into being is quite amusing. For many years I had a robin box on the wall which failed to attract anything at all. Then one dusk in May 2002 I saw a scops trying to squeeze herself into it  with clearly broody thoughts on her mind. At dawn next day I tacked together a suitable box for smaller owls and replaced the robin box with it. The same night Mrs Scops was back and this time laying. She and her mate successfully raised a brood, and they have returned regularly every year since. This year's brood are still around the garden, quite often roosting in the abundant thickets on offer. Incidentally, the bird books generally agree that scops are mainly insect eaters. In the breeding season I can say with certainty that ours feed their young regularly with small birds and rodents, this being very marked in the final stages of fledging. " (Derek Ive). The photo was taken by his brother-in-law, Rafael Campos, who is an avian pathologist..See also Olivaceous warblers in Madrid. (also Derek Ive) and Birds in Spain

 

 

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