In addition to all the other ways I like to be dorky, I am also an avid bird-nerd. That would be wild birds - I don't do inside birds, in fact they scare me. But I can use up a lot of time watching the birds who come to our feeders and the ones who inhabit the woods behind my house. I read at least a couple of books each year about birds. Right now I am fascinated by raptors. We have 3 kinds of hawks, a pair of peregrines and 2 kinds of owls who frequent our neighborhood. I bought a beautiful book last week about owls. Mr. C isn't yet convinced of why he needs to build an owl box for our patch of woods, so I am hoping this web site will help convince him.
Klaara is an adorable Tawny Owl who lives in Estonia. (I had no idea where Estonia is located, except I do know they knit exceptionally beautiful lace there. Anyway, it's near Finland. But I digress.) Klaara and her mate, Klaus, are currently raising 4 adorable little balls of white fluff and you can watch them 24/7 on the Klaara-cam. I have been addicted to peeking in on Klaara and company for a couple of weeks now, but especially since I watched her help her third chick hatch last Saturday night. It was amazing and I feel so privileged to have seen this happen. There's a group of us following the action over on Ravelry, in the Bird Lovers group.
Tawny owls are related to barred owls. Our little patch of woods is a favorite hunting ground for a pair of barred owls and this week we've heard them sounding their mating calls, which sound like they're calling "Who-cooks-for-you? Who cooks for you, who?" That's a question I wonder a lot about recently, as I haven't been in a cookerly kind of mood for several weeks now and I would love for someone to cook for me. My neighbors are not as charmed, however, since the male owl likes to sit in a dead tree right outside their bedroom window and serenade his lady just before dawn.
Klaara's little owlets are getting bigger everyday. She can barely keep them tucked under her warm feathers now. In just one week, she has shown them how to eat for themselves. Klaus keeps bringing her enormous rodents, which she keeps re-arranging in the nest throughout the day. These varmints serve as the owl-buffet in the nest. I keep the window open, but shrunk, with the sound turned up when I am not actually watching the cuteness of Klaara's family. Chloe and Abbie have taken to hanging out in my office with me, and there is always great interest on their parts when Klaus arrives at the nest to deliver food, with the rustle of wings and Klaara shrieking and owlets peeping. They both run up to my desk, noses twitching and tails wagging. Our family is so easily entertained.
As the babies get bigger, Klaara will join Klaus in their hunting efforts to keep enough voles and mice available to feed the growing chicks, who will be out of the nest in about 3 weeks.
Fortunately, it is easy to keep an eye on the little brood and knit at the same time. The A4A blankie is finally finished and is blocking right now. I hope to have pictures to show in the next day or two.