In terms of cuteness, tawny owl babies are as close as it gets to Baby Yoda.
Finding or Knowing
My photography mate Ian is a great wildlife spotter, as he proved on various trips. On several occasion, he was the reason I came across a new species, which I would have otherwise missed. He has recently informed me about tawny owl babies (German: Waldkauz) in a forest close to his home. So, it was rather about knowing the right people than finding wildlife by myself. Given we were unsure about how long they would stay with their parents, we scheduled a trip as soon as possible.
We arrived in the forest at the crack of dawn and even my girlfriend came along that early. Little baby owls are as convincing as it gets to wake up early. It was her who spotted one parent as well as the first tawny owlet in a fir tree. Silently, they sat relaxed on a branch and did not pay any attention to us. The handball-sized owlet had still their fluffy coat on. Given that there was a much-frequented path nearby, they were used to people. Therefore, they were just doing their business. The only annoyances that caught their attention were the nearby crows and barking dogs.
More Tawny Owl Babies
At one point, the parent suddenly flew off and chased what looked like another bird. The tit hastily fled into thicker canopy. However, the owl was not after the little bird, but returned within seconds to her youngster with a mouse. By this time, we had spotted five owlets in trees nearby. As if one owl was not cute enough, they cuddled and had a nap.
However, do not be deceived by their delightful appearance, the blood on their beaks give a hint to their true intentions.
Other Forest Inhabitants
Apart from the adorable tawny owlets, we spotted more wildlife in the forest. There were many squirrels around, who seized the opportunity at the bird feeder. The various tits reluctantly shared their fodder and even a great spotted woodpecker helped himself to some fast food. On our way back, we even came across a white dipper, who posed on a dead tree. What more could you ask for?
It was a wonderful entertaining morning to remember. Thanks Ian for showing me these wonderful killer owlet.