A wildlife craftsman in Britain caught on film the exact second when, seeing a couple of owlets in her nest, a tawny owl whose eggs had failed promptly embraces them with a snuggle and a cleaning.
Raptors are most of the time one of the animal kingdom’s most devoted parents, life partners, and homemakers – and the video is a testament of that. Robert Fuller is one of the UK’s chief painters of wild animals and creatures, and a committed onlooker of their behavior.
His website contains blog articles written about the untamed life that visit his personal garden and the region around it, which includes but is not limited to several tawny owls who nest in boxes and hollows which Fuller has installed with nest cameras.
Throughout the years he has archived the connection between Bomber and Luna, a tawny owl mating pair that have raised a few owlets in his rigged hollows. Fuller has seen Luna and bomber raise a total of six owlets all at the same time once, and rates them very high up as devoted parents. Bomber, specifically, will go after anything that comes near his nest threat or not.
“Not only did her eggs fail to hatch this year, but she also lost her clutch last year,” Fuller explains on his YouTube video. ‘Luna the tawny owl is finally a mom.’
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Luna herself is a rescue owl, and her story consequently finishes the circle in numerous ways.
She and her mate, Bomber, are a deep rooted pair and ordinary guests to Fullers garden. They will often rule the skies, and Bomber, who has lived there since 2011, gets his name from his furiously territorial ways. Numerous barn owl and a kestrel that share this domain have been kicked to the ground. During one of his assaults he broke a feather to a barn owl, named Grete.
However, despite his fierceness, Bomber is still one of Fuller’s favorites. Unmistakable by a dark stripe of feathers on his face and his lovely ginger shading, he is an exceptionally handsome bird. Despite his extensive age – wild tawny owls have a typical life expectancy of only about four years albeit the British Trust for Ornithology has a record of one that lived 23 years, and Bomber shows no signs of slowing down.
He is also a delicate parent. One year, he and Luna raised six chicks in the valley below Fuller’s gallery. Two of these were saved owlets, named Ernie and Eric, whom he introduced alongside Luna and Bomber’s natural chicks with the expectation that they would raise them as their own and to be wild. Hours were spent under a line of sycamore trees looking through optics at the branches above as Bomber carried food to the owlets after they had fledged.
Interestingly enough, as soon as this clutch had grown up and flew the coop, Luna and Bomber started examining a nest box that Fuller had produced using an old beech stump. Bomber guarded this new nest with vigor and it was even caught on film. Before long they started re-confirming their bonds and Fuller looked on as they affectionately dressed each other. By the new year, they were spending more and more time together. “It was soothing to hear them gently warbling from the hidden microphones,” said Fuller.