I'm not particularly looking for Grass Owls, but when I come across a suitable habitat, I cannot but explore it ! So an another breeding site, not far from the two other ones. Five chicks at different ages; the youngest is considerably smaller and seems undernourished. If I refer to this "guide to ageing young Barn Owls" (link), I estimate them as being 25-30 days old (they cannot stand yet and rest on their tarsi).
This nest needs to be monitored. It is located 100-150m from fields of Jícama or "yam bean" - cây củ đậu, a very easy way to get food from poor soil -, and when I was there, farmers were burning the grasses and thickets to expand their plots.
Recently, I have discovered that all the area of the first breeding site has been burned ! This practise seems to be frequent there. Sure it helps to prevent encroachment of woody vegetation (this is not the goal of course), but the problem is that it is completely uncontrolled. They want to clean one or two hectares but they burn two or three times this surface. Very sad for this pair...
Next weekend, I'll go back to this new site. Come with me, guys ! Let's hope we will not have a bad surprise...
Merry Christmas to all