July 23, 2014
Male Parent Delivers Lemming to Owlet, Female Parent Looks On
Once the young leave the nest when they are about 25 days old, they are fed entirely by the parents for at least another five weeks. Here we see the almost entirely white male delivering a lemming. After around 5 weeks after leaving the nest the young can begin to hunt for themselves. They are probably partly fed for at least another week or two while they are still poor at hunting. As you can see this owlet still has some grey downy feathers. Spending a month on the ground close to the nest, their appearance changes quickly. Plumage around the eyes and beak turns lighter. Black and white speckled wing covert feathers become noticeable. You can see these feathers when the owlet stretches its wings. Flight and tail feathers grow daily. By the time they are six weeks old, the young start looking like adults with black speckles and some remaining downy plumage, mainly on the head. The tail feathers take longer to develop than the flight feathers. Once these are developed the young should be able to start flying.