Emily Joachim at the UK Little Owl Project filmed this nestbox attack. The barn owl visits the little owl nestbox twice.
She says, “Due to their size, little owls are vulnerable to predation in the nest. A newly hatched chick weighs just 10g. We are aware that barn owls predate little owl nestlings but this is the first time that I have recorded such footage.”
1 A barn owl somehow squeezes his way into the nestbox to find the little owl and her four eggs, which are only days from hatching.
2 Despite the dramatic difference in size the little owl attacks the intruder, fighting ferociously to protect her precious clutch.
3 The barn owl retreats from the onslaught. He’ll return when the chicks have hatched.
Watch a video of the first visit:
[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46drdpYld_c?rel=0 width:623 height:360]
4. The male barn owl returns to the little owl nestbox to find the little owl and her hatched chicks.
5. The barn owl tries to take a chick and the female little owl fights to defend her young. She lunges towards the barn owl using her talons.
6. The barn owl predates one chick and injures another. Three of the four chicks survived to to fledging age and two survived fledging.
Watch a video of the second visit:
[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20C7pZ5rlNM width:623 height:360]