Saturday, March 15, 2014


Hello there everyone
Many people have asked me about the latest news of 'OWL', so this is a short post to address this question.  Quick answer: Yes, she is still in our midst.

 It's been 15 days now and hopefully she is here to stay. We've had extensive rain in the past two weeks, but she's simply let the weather slide off her feathers.  Nonplussed. 
Every morning, just before the sun rises, she finds a place in the palm tree to roost for the day.  Some days its ON the telephone pole, other days her choice is on one of the palm fronds. She settles in, shuts her eyes, and ignores the ever-persistent voices of disdain from the garden birds.

At dusk, she opens her beautiful yellow eyes and begins her routine of preparation.  Night-time jaunts require feathers in pristine condition, so she preens and preens.  Then she stretches her wings and examines her talons.  A few good shakes and then she scans for flight options. Soon she's gone - to hunt in the green belt below our house.

I continue to feel so privileged by her presence although she's still not shown any interest in the owl box.  I've not seen her mate either. Hopefully, OWL is here to stay.

Some pictures...

 A 'lucky' glimpse of the nictitating membrane across OWL's eye

A short video clip of OWL being pestered by the garden birds:

Sending lots of love

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


We have had so much rain in the past three days.  Rivers are flowing heavily, parks have turned into swamps and everything is soaked to the extreme. Someone even asked me if I had a copy of the book: 'ARK FOR DUMMIES'.  It really is extremely wet and the forecast is for more rain.  

Our resident OWL has been sitting on her perch while the heavens have opened.  She remains unperturbed by the rain and sits and sleeps while large drops slide off her feathers. 

At dusk, she carefully prepares her feathers, her talons and stretches her wings.  After surveying the environment, she finally takes off and glides through the air to the parapet of our house.  After a short while, she takes off towards my neighbour's roof and from there disappears into the green belt.  There she'll hunt for insects, beetles, frogs, reptiles and rodents.  Her night-time vision equips her for swift, silent of God's amazing creations!

When she disappears in the evening, I wonder if it is the last I'll see of this beautiful creature. There are no guarantees in life and it's important to make the most of every minute.  So far, we've been so blessed with five days of OWL in our midst.  Each morning, I rush to the window - hoping for another day with her.

Having spent five days in her company, I've come to realise that owls can indeed have different expressions.  Take a look: 

Although the OWL BOX has been installed, OWL has chosen to remain on her favoured perch and to soak up the rain.  The lighting isn't the best for photos, but I've managed to get a few nice ones (I think).  Let's simply let the pictures do the talking:

 Every afternoon, the Grey-Louries create a huge racket because of the presence of Owl. 
OWL keeps an eye on them, but mostly ignores them. They are no threat for her -
they are just loud-mouths!
For the moment, the OWL HOUSE remains unoccupied.

 Another feathered visitor: Rameron Pigeon (The largest pigeon resident in Johannesburg)
 I love the doves too...
 Lexi says that she is also a resident...don't forget!
Owl keeps a close watch, but doesn't seem to mind the dogs.
It appears that OWL is happy to sleep off the wet weather here in our garden.

1. Sleep in the rain
2. Ignore irritating, loud-mouthed fruit and seed-eaters
3. Scowl at humans
4. Party the night away!
5. Take time out from your mate
6. Keep the humans guessing when they try to organise your accommodation.
7. Remain aloof...always!

Sending lotsaluv

Monday, March 3, 2014



I am delighted to inform my readers that OWL does, indeed, have a mate. What fantastic news!
I was lucky enough to see them both in the early hours of this morning, so now my heart is at ease. Can't wait to see what he really looks like.  They tell me that he will be smaller than her.

We were woken to a chorus of haunting hooting at 5.30 this morning. I quickly rushed out of bed, to my window to watch OWL on the roof of my neighbour's house. Toby and Lexi didn't appear too shaken - I think they are becoming accustomed to me running around the house peering out of windows.  OWL's hooting continued until I saw a large dark shape fly over.  She quickly took off to join him. Isn't this wonderful news?

A few hours later OWL was back on her favoured perch - on the pole in the corner of our garden.
It's a drizzly day in Johannesburg, but ECOSOLUTIONS arrived promptly as arranged.
(Above: Mr Sam Louw and Mr Jackson Mageza from ECOSOLUTIONS...and the famous 'OWL BOX' installed in the tree in the background)

I was greeted with a friendly smile by two of the company's employees who joined me in taking a look at the trees in the garden as well as our special OWL - on her perch.  The tree I'd ear-marked for the OWL BOX met their approval and they set about the job.
 Jackson - "Ready for action"
 Precarious have to be agile to do this.  And brave!

So, which branch will it be? 
 Below: Sam gets the box ready to be raised.
 Almost there...
 Now the tricky bit starts - attach it to the tree and ensure that it is level.

 mmm...we need to cut off that sharp branch...
 No problem.
 If you are wondering what nesting materials OWLS need - well it is simply GRAVEL. What could be easier?
 Below: Jackson puts the gravel into the OWL HOUSE....
 Well, I thought I'd appease the barbets in our garden while we had the workers here. So ECOSOLUTIONS installed a nesting log for me too.
 (BTW they also do BAT HOTELS...check out their WEBSITE)
 This time it's Sam's turn to do the climbing.
 Done and dusted - OWL BOX INSTALLED!
Now we wait and see if our dear OWL pair like the box.
I really hope so.

Many thanks to ECOSOLUTIONS for the efficient installation of our OWL BOX.
Please contact them if you are thinking of doing the same.
Sending lotsaluv

ps.  I have put together a montage of pictures as well as a recording of the OWL HOOTING on this YOU TUBE ARRANGEMENT
I hope you enjoy it.