This morning when I went down to the wash, the smaller of the two adults (who we believe is the male) stood in my path quite a distance from the nest. He was perched in a lower spot than I expected him to be and he made no sound and did not move. A distance away was the female at the top of the ridge looking in the opposite direction.
I felt that something was different and wasn’t sure what it was and so decided not to go any closer.
I circled around and came from the other direction but kept my distance. I could see the larger of the babies still in the original nest. There was no sign of the smaller one on the lower ledge.
Normally, when I approach, the parents call to each other and fly away to draw me away from the nest. Today, they did not move, which makes me suspect that the little one has fallen to the ground and is somewhere between where the two parents are standing on guard just east of the original nest. But that’s just a guess on my part.
An owlet has very little chance of survival on the ground. We have too many coyotes here.
I feel slightly sad but I also feel gratitude for being so close to nature. Perhaps there’s a small gift for me to help me in learning to accept the ways of the wild.