Questions from Mrs. Hill’s 1st Block elementary school class

February 2, 2015 by Dot Bambach

 

Here are responses to some questions about the owl nest posed by Bryan County elementary school children:

Keegan wonders if there are feathers inside the eggs that keep them warm when the mother owl leaves the nest.

Answer:  The eggs contain only the developing chick, not feathers, although as the date of hatching approaches, the chicks will start to develop a few downy feathers .  The eggs get pretty warm while the mother owl is sitting on them (about 100 degrees F) and they will retain heat for quite a while even when placed in a cold environment.  Here’s an experiment you can do with the help of an adult at home (or your teacher at school) — Cook an egg in boiling water for about five minutes.  Then use a spoon to remove the egg from the pan it was cooked in and place the egg in the refrigerator.  Open the refrigerator 5 minutes later and feel the egg.  Is it cold yet or still warm?  If still warm, leave it for another 5 minutes and then check it again.  See how long it takes before the egg feels as cold as everything else in the refrigerator.

Jacob asks if we will still be recording after the eggs hatch.

Answer:   YES!  We’ll keep the cameras rolling because things get really interesting once those little chicks appear.

Courtney would like to know how the baby owls will stay warm once they hatch.

Answer:  The mother owl will sit down gently on top of the young chicks to keep them warm (this is called “brooding”) for about the first week after they hatch.  It’s similar to how she kept the eggs warm to incubate them.  After that, the chicks will have grown enough feathers to keep themselves warm.

And finally, everyone here at The Landings Owl Cam agrees with Seth, who says, “We are having a hooting good time watching her!”

Thanks for watching and asking such good questions!

19 Responses to “Questions from Mrs. Hill’s 1st Block elementary school class”

  1. MM Reynolds says:

    Would you please let me know if there is a “light” on the nest… it appears to have shadows in the nest and wondered if the light does not bother them …

    Thank you for letting me know

    • Rick Cunningham says:

      Yes, there is a light, and it does cast shadows. However, it is infrared (IR) which is a wavelength of light outside of the visible spectrum. It is invisible to people and owls. The camera, however, has a sensor that is sensitive to infrared light, so it “sees in the dark”. An article on the subject is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared
      A way to understand IR is to recall that a prism breaks up “white” light into its constituent colors. Different colors correspond to the wavelength of the light. At the short wavelength end of the rainbow is blue and violet, then ultraviolet is beyond that – this is the type of light that gives you the worst sunburn. On the other end of the spectrum are the long wavelengths, such as red and then infrared. We can only see the spectrum of light between red and violet – but there is “light” or electromagnetic energy, above and below these limits that is visible to some creatures and equipment. Thanks for a great question!

  2. Kevin Bryant says:

    Oops, again. Can those last two comments be moved to the most recent date for “comments”??

  3. Kevin Bryant says:

    Looks like the feed started at 7:03 and the camera operator was right on top of it. 🙂

  4. Kevin Bryant says:

    Feeding the chick right now! 7:16

  5. Laurelei says:

    Since the hatching I can only get the look back video. Can I fix that?

    • Rick Cunningham says:

      There are sometimes issues with different browsers on issues on different platforms. What are you using (phone, PC, Macbook), (Android, iOS, Windows, OSX), and what are the symptoms?

    • Rick Cunningham says:

      There are sometimes issues with different browsers on issues on different platforms. What are you using (phone, PC, Macbook), (Android, iOS, Windows, OSX), and what are the symptoms?

  6. Kevin Bryant says:

    Looking back, I note that she was doing a lot of hooting back and forth with another owl at around 4:38.

    Is it my imagination, or is she sitting with a different “posture” now?

  7. Kevin Bryant says:

    Mom was gone for about 17 minutes, I think.

  8. Kevin Bryant says:

    How’d that baby get “fluffy” so fast?? Guess the rat was a bird. 🙂

  9. Kevin Bryant says:

    Looks like she’s eating the egg shell.

  10. Joyce says:

    Did it hatch

  11. Kevin Bryant says:

    Oh, the 18 was the 6, so it was 6:17. Just rewatched and see that she brought back what looked like a small rat. Pretty cool!

  12. Joyce Drinnon says:

    How big are the eggs because it is hard to capture if the camera is playing because it sems bigger. I LIKE YOU DOING THIS THANKYOU.

  13. Candy says:

    Thank you for allowing us to share in this adventure.

  14. Norah says:

    We love this webcam! I wake up every morning to watch the owl before I go to school. Thank you!

  15. Anne Kraft says:

    What great questions…:)…

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