Review the main events, including nesting cycle milestones and other noteworthy incidents, in this historical timeline of the Barred Owl cam.
Jump To Season Timeline:
Nesting Cycle Dates & Information
2023 Season Timeline
April 30, 2023: Barred Owls’ Breeding Attempt Ends With Unhatched Eggs
It was an interesting season for the owls on the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl Cam. There was plenty of excitement over the incubation period while the female cared for her two eggs, but as the days passed, it was clear that neither of the eggs were viable in 2023.
Both eggs remained unhatched well past the typical hatching window for Barred Owls (28–33 days), and the female eventually abandoned incubation duties at the nest. Even though we didn’t get to watch owlets grow up in the nesting box this season, it was interesting to watch the behavior of the parents as they continued nightly visits to the nest box for more than a week after their failed attempt.
March 16, 2023: Barred Owls Return And Lay Two Eggs In 2023
In 2023, the female Barred Owl laid the first egg on March 11, and it was a full 5 days later that she laid the second egg, on March 16. She had left the first egg un-incubated for most of the first couple days at near-freezing temperatures, so we’re unsure whether it will still hatch. Since settling into full-time incubation around the 13th/14th, she has consistently been on the egg and with a second egg laid on the 16th we’re hopeful at least one (possibly both) will still hatch. This laying behavior is quite unusual compared to the super-consistent laying pattern we’ve seen at this site over the last decade, suggesting that this may be a new or inexperienced female or pair. Watch the pair have a hooting duet in the nest box.
2022 Season Timeline
May 7, 2022: Youngest Owlet “May” Branches, Climbs Trees Near WBU Barred Owl Nest Box
After 33 days in the nest box, the young Barred Owl “May” finally ventured outside to explore the surrounding forest on the night of May 7. In this clip, the young owl navigates its new woodland territory on the day after branching. Keep watching to see a parent stop by to offer some encouragement.
April and May will continue to associate with their parents for several months as they continue to hone their hunting and flying skills. The fledglings will stay in close proximity to the nest site while they learn to explore, and the adults will continue to provide them with food. Eventually, the owls disperse from their natal area in search of a territory of their own.
May 6, 2022: Eldest Owlet “April” Fledges, Drops To Ground Below Nest Box
April has fledged! The elder owlet has taken the leap into the woodlands surrounding the nest box and into the next stage of development. Watch April make the climb to the top of the nest box and receive some encouragement from a parent. After about 15 minutes, the owlet took its first short flight to a nearby tree at 6:28 A.M. before eventually dropping to the ground while attempting to climb upwards.
April 4, 2022: Second Owlet Hatches On Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl Cam
Two down, one to go! After waiting for the second owlet to finish hatching for a couple of days, it seems to have finally made its way out on April 4, after 34 days in the egg! Watch the female reveal her two down-covered owlets while taking a break from the nest box. As you can see in the highlight, there’s plenty of food to keep these hatchlings fed and happy.
April 1, 2022: First Hatchling Revealed As Female Shifts In The Nest Box
It’s official! The first Barred Owl owlet has hatched on day 33 of the incubation period. Sneak a peek at the hatchling as it wiggles beneath the female at 12:40 PM on April 1. The remaining eggs should be hatching soon. Barred Owl eggs hatch asynchronously, meaning the eggs hatch at different times often days apart. Assuming all goes well, we expect the other two eggs to start pipping and finish hatching over the next 2–4 days.
March 4, 2022: Third And Final Egg Laid In Barred Owl Nest Box
At 3:00 AM on March 4, the female Barred Owl reveals her third egg of the 2022 breeding season. It’s going to be a full nest box this year on the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam.
March 1, 2022: Female Lays Second Egg In Early Morning
The second egg of the 2022 WBU Barred Owl cam season is here! Watch the female share a peek at both eggs when checking on them in the morning of March 1. Egg #2 was laid at some point between 12:30 AM and 7:00 AM, about 48 hours after egg #1.
February 27, 2022: Barred Owl Female Lays First Egg of 2022
Watch the female Barred Owl reveal her first egg of the 2022 breeding season on the morning of February 27. She offers the first peek just after midnight before unveiling her pearly white egg for the first time a few hours later during an incubation break. Barred Owls may lay between 1 and 5 eggs per clutch, with 2 or 3 eggs being the most common. The female will lay an egg every 1–4 days until the clutch is complete.
2021 Season Timeline
May 14, 2021: Younger Owlet “Pignut” Branches Outside Nest Box
The second and final Barred Owl chick, Pignut, has taken its first steps outside the nest box 33 days after hatching. Pignut returned to the nest box after branching and eventually climbed up the nest box tree on May 16. Now that the owlets have moved on from their nesting tree, we’ll say farewell to the 2021 owl cam season and wish all the best to Pignut and Hickory in their adventures outside of the nest box!
May 13, 2021: Elder Owlet “Hickory” Branches From Barred Owl Nest Box
The elder owlet Hickory branched—or left the nest box to perch on nearby branches and trees—at 8:42 PM on May 13 after 34 days in the nest box. Watch the adult stop by to offer some encouragement before Hickory musters up the courage to take its first steps from the nest box entrance onto the nearby perch. The owlet later climbed up to the top of the nest box to roost before pondering its next move.
April 11, 2021: First Glimpse Of Second Owlet Hatchling
The female owl leaves for a quick break, giving viewers our first view of the second owlet that hatched on the morning of April 11. After a few minutes off the nest, she returns and settles back on to brood her two young.
April 9, 2021: First Owlet Hatches At Barred Owl Nest Box
The first Barred Owl chick hatched on April 9. Get the first peek at the owlet at 7:51 PM while the female is nibbling on a piece of the eggshell. Watch highlights of the hour after the helpless owlet makes its debut when the female settles over her youngster, communicates with her mate, and then eventually takes leave from the nest box to give an unobstructed view of the owlet just before nightfall.
March 11, 2021: Second And Final Egg Of 2021 Laid By Female Barred Owl
The female Barred Owl revealed her second egg at around 6:30 AM on March 11. The egg was first spotted under the female in the early morning hours at around 3 AM.
March 8, 2021: Female Barred Owl Share Sneak Peak Of First Egg
A single white egg was spotted at the bottom of the Barred Owl nest box when the female shifted her wing at 2:56 PM on March 8. This marks the official beginning of the 2021 breeding season for the stars of the WBU Barred Owl cam. Given the history of this nest site, we should see a second egg arrive sometime in the next 24–72 hours.
2020 Season Timeline
May 17, 2020: Third And Final Chick Fledges, Season Over
That’s a wrap! Watch the third and final owlet of the 2020 Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam season fledge while taking a short flight to a nearby branch. Good luck to all the owlets on the next stage.
May 16, 2020: Second Chick Fledges In Early Morning
Watch the moment that the second Barred Owl chick “Kindness” takes its first short flight from the top of the nest box to a nearby branch on May 16.
May 15, 2020: First Barred Owl Chick Fledges
The first owlet has fledged! Watch the young bird of prey take off from the top of the nest box on May 15. After they leave the nest box, these young Barred Owls will spend most of the time hitching up trees and climbing branches as they begin to hone their flight skills over the next 5–7 weeks.
April 14, 2020: Third And Final Barred Owl Chick “Hope” Hatches
The Barred Owls welcomed their third hatchling “Hope” on April 14, three days after its siblings “Kindness” and “Joy” hatched on April 11. Now that all three owlets have hatched, the adults’ sole focus over the next couple of weeks will be to keep them warm and fed.
April 11, 2020: Two Barred Owlets Hatch On Same Day, Named “Joy” and “Kindness”
The first two owlets from the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam have hatched! The female unveiled the first hatchling of the 2020 cam season when she left the next box at 3:22 AM on April 11. About 19 hours later, the second owlet was seen exiting its shell at around 10: 13 PM that same evening. One unhatched egg still remains in the nest box.
March 14, 2020: Third Egg Joins the Barred Owls In The Nest Box
Can you spot three eggs? A third egg was unveiled for a brief moment on March 14 when the female adjusted her position in the nest box. Barred Owls may lay as many as five eggs per clutch, but we expect this may be it for the on-cam breeding pair. The owls inhabiting this site have laid either 2 or 3 eggs each season since 2014, when the nest box was equipped with a camera.
March 11, 2020: Female Barred Owl Lays Second Egg
The female Barred Owl laid her second egg in the late evening of March 11. The owls nesting at this site typically lay either 2 or 3 eggs each year. Will this be the last egg, or are there more to come? We should know more sometime in the next 24–72 hours.
March 9, 2020: First Egg Laid As Barred Owl Breeding Season Begins
The Barred Owls have returned to their nest box in Zionsville, Indiana, and the female just laid the first egg sometime in the early morning hours of March 9. Watch her unveil the egg at 2:30 AM when she greets her mate with some hoots at the nest box entrance.
2019 Season Timeline
May 7, 2019: Youngest Owlet Accidentally Fledges From Nest Box
After its sibling fledged with confidence last night, the youngest Barred Owl “Puff” decided to investigate the branches outside the nest box but got more than bargained for. Despite its best efforts to hang in there, the owlet accidentally “fludged” at 8:37 p.m. and was later seen climbing up a nearby tree. This behavior is typical for young owls, who will spend the next 6 weeks learning to fly and forage on their own while the adults feed and give them shelter. Thanks to our cam host and Wild Birds Unlimited CEO Jim Carpenter, our volunteers, and viewers for another great year with this Barred Owl family.
May 7, 2019: First Owlet Fledges From Barred Owl Nest
At day 34 post-hatch, watch the eldest owlet make a short, confident flight from the nest box perch to a nearby tree that is followed by a quick check in from one of the adults.
April 30, 2019: The WBU Owlets Named “Fluff” and “Puff”
“Fluff” and “Puff” have been voted as the winning names for this delightful, downy duo from the 2019 Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam! We’d like to thank the nearly 4000 viewers who cast their vote to name this year’s owlets. It was the closest race yet. The winning monikers came in first place with 1351 votes—only two votes ahead of the second-place finishers “Owlivia” and “Hoodini” with 1349 votes. What a fantastic finish!
April 4, 2019: Second Barred Owl Hatches
Two down—none to go! The second Barred Owl hatchling was revealed when the adult female made a quick trip from the nest box on the evening of April 4. Now that both chicks have hatched, the adults will be tasked with feeding their fast-growing chicks throughout the month-long nestling period.
April 3, 2019: First Barred Owl Chick Hatches With Hoots To Boot
The WBU Barred Owl cam welcomed the first owlet of the 2019 season this morning after 33 days in the egg! The damp hatchling was first seen cupped in its eggshell at around 10:10 AM before it fully hatched about 5 minutes later. Watch the female tend to her new owlet and be sure to stay tuned for a hoot-filled conversation between the adults. Welcome to the world little owlet!
March 4, 2019: Second Egg Laid In Barred Owl Nest
A second egg arrived on the evening of March 4! In the past we’ve seen these owls lay eggs between 2 to 4 days apart.
March 1, 2019: Female Barred Owl Reveals First Egg Of 2019 Season
The Barred Owl breeding season has officially begun! On the evening of March 1, the female owl left the nest box to reveal what we’ve all been hoping for—a glistening white egg! Barred Owl clutch size ranges between 1 and 5 eggs, but we’ve observed the owls in this box systematically lay 3 eggs almost every year since the cam’s inaugural year in 2014.
2018 Season Timeline
July 18, 2018: 2018 WBU Barred Owl Cam Season Highlights
Watch a pair of brown-and-white feathered forest dwellers work around the clock to raise fluffy owlets over the breeding season in these highlights from the fifth season of the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl Cam!
May 13, 2018: 2018 Cam Season Ends With Youngest Owlet’s Fledge
The third and final Barred Owl chick has fledged! After 24 days in the nest box, the youngest owlet “Dock” made it official after taking its first short flight to a nearby tree yesterday evening. Watch the clip of Dock’s fledge captured by one of our keen-eyed volunteers. This marks the fifth consecutive season that the Barred Owls on cam have successfully hatched and fledged all of their young!
May 9, 2018: Second Owlet “Dickory” Fledges To Nearby Tree
Dickory has fledged! At 31 days post-hatch, the second oldest owlet took its first leap into the wild world outside of the nest box in the evening hours of May 9. In this clip from the Barred Owl cam, watch Dickory clamber up a nearby tree shortly after making the jump. Cam host Jim Carpenter of Wild Birds Unlimited reports that Dickory is 15 feet up a tree in his backyard in the morning after fledge and that both parents are in the woods paying a lot of attention to their young
May 8, 2018: Oldest Owlet “Hickory” Fledges As “Dickory” Branches
The oldest owlet has fledged and another has branched on the Barred Owl cam! Just after 8:00 PM yesterday, May 8, Hickory fledged while climbing around the perch in front of the nest box. Dickory, the second oldest owlet, eventually returned to the nest box. With owls, fledging and falling are often synonymous. Their flight abilities at “fledge” are not fully developed, and they spend time on the ground, clambering around branches, climbing trees, and being cared for by the parents for weeks after leaving the nest.
May 8, 2018: Barred Owls Named Hickory, Dickory, and Dock
The polls have closed and the results are in! With 707 votes, cam viewers have chosen Hickory, Dickory, and Dock as the names for this years owlets on the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam. Thanks to the over 2300 viewers who participated in this year’s contest, and good luck to the young owlets as they prepare to leave the nest box!
April 9, 2018: Third And Final Barred Owl Egg Hatches
All three owlets have now hatched from their eggs! Check out the third owlet’s first appearance on cam after hatching in the early morning hours of April 9.
April 8, 2018: Egg #2 Hatches In Barred Owl Box
Two down and one to go! After 32 days of incubation by the female, the second Barred Owl egg has hatched on April 8. The third and final egg should hatch any time in the next 72 hours.
April 6, 2018: First Chick Hatches In Barred Owl Nest Box
After 32 days of incubation, the first egg hatched this morning on the Barred Owl cam! At 7:46 AM we got our first glimpse of a pinkish-white owlet tucked under the mother owl’s right wing as she was consuming some of the eggshell. Amazingly, the lay date (March 5) and hatch date (April 6) of this egg were the same as the owls’ first egg in 2017—now that’s what we call staying on schedule!
March 9, 2018: Barred Owl Female Lays Egg #3
And then there were three! Another egg appeared in the nest box on the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam on March 9, marking the third breeding season in a row that 3 eggs have been laid at this location. For the next 4 weeks, the female will be tasked as the sole provider of incubation as the male hunts in the nearby forests and streams in search of prey to deliver his mate in the nest box.
March 7, 2018: Second Barred Owl Egg Arrives
A second egg was sighted in the Barred Owl nest in the early morning of March 7. If a third egg is on the way, expect to see it sometime within the next 2–4 days!
March 5, 2018: First Egg Of The Season Laid In Barred Owl Nest
The breeding season has begun on the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl Cam! A pure white egg was spotted in the nest box for the first time in the early morning hours of Monday, March 5. Since 2014 when the cam went live, the Barred Owls nesting at this location have laid between 2 and 3 eggs each year; however, Barred Owl clutch size can range anywhere between 1–5 eggs.
2017 Season Timeline
August 9, 2017: From Box To Branch – 2017 Barred Owl Cam Highlights
Take a step back in time and relive the moments of the 2017 WBU Barred Owl cam. Watch the owls deliver prey of all types as they work to raise three owlets to fledging.
May 12, 2017: Third and Final Owlet Leaves Nest Box
After having spent 32 days in the nest box, the third and final owlet made the leap from the Barred Owl nest box to a nearby branch. All three nestlings have now entered the wild, where they’ll remain dependent on their parents for food until they reach 4–5 months of age. As their mobility and hunting skills improve, young Barred Owls slowly move away from their nest site, gain independence, and eventually disperse in search of their own territory.
May 11, 2017: Second Owlet Fledges From Nest Box
The second Barred Owl nestling fledged at some point over the night on May 11 after having spent 33 days in the nest box. Now only the youngest owl remains in the box!
May 10, 2017: The First Owlet Has Fledged On WBU Barred Owl Cam
The first owlet fledged from the nest box and entered the wild early this morning! It was spotted by our cam host in the woods away from the camera; the parents have seen seen hanging out near the box and tending to the recently fledged owlet. The adults will continue to provide food to their offspring for multiple weeks after they’ve left the nest box while the young owls hone their flying skills and learn to hunt.
April 25, 2017: Meet the Barred Owlets Sunflower, Millet, & Peanut
The names of the owlets on the 2017 Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam are in! “Sunflower, Millet, & Peanut” took the top spot with 1822 votes! Thanks to the over 4500 viewers who participated in naming the owlets.
April 10, 2017: Barred Owl Egg #3 Hatches
Egg #3 has hatched! All three downy owlets were visible when the female made a quick trip out of the nest box this morning. For the next 4–5 weeks, the adults sole focus will be on brooding and feeding these young owlets until they grow large enough to explore life beyond the nest box.
April 8, 2017: Egg #2 Pips and Hatches Overnight
The first visible pip on egg #2 was spotted late at night on April 7th, and the second chick fully emerged from its shell in the early morning of April 8th. Only one more to go!
April 6, 2017: Egg #1 Hatches on Barred Owl Cam
On April 6th around 9 P.M., the Barred Owl female left the nest box and revealed the first Barred Owl hatchling! The young chick, covered in white natal down, can be seen moving around the bottom of the nest box while the adults caterwaul in the distance. Assuming this was the egg that was laid on March 5th (the first of the clutch), it took 32 days for the chick to hatch—on the long side of a typical Barred Owl incubation period that ranges between 28–33 days. Keep watch as Egg #2 could hatch at any moment!
March 9, 2017: Egg #3 Confirmed In Barred Owl Nest
And one more makes three! March 9 marks the third confirmed egg laid by the female in the Barred Owl nest box.
March 7, 2017: Egg #2 Laid in Barred Owl Nest
Three days after the first egg was spotted, the second egg is confirmed in the nest.
March 5, 2017: Egg #1 Sighted in Barred Owl Nest
As the female leaves the nest box, she reveals the first egg of the 2017 season!
2016 Season Timeline
May 16, 2016: Owlets Named Rhyme, Reason & Rebel
All three of the owlets on our Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam branched successfully from the nest box at the end of last week! Over 2300 viewers cast votes to name the owls, and the winning triad was “Rhyme, Reason, & Rebel.” Thanks to everyone who participated!
May 12, 2016: Second and Third Owlets Leave The Nest Box
The last two owlets left the nest box area on May 12—the first launched itself purposely from the top of the box, while the second climbed the trunk above the box and disappeared from view. The cam host has spotted the two owls on site, and the female is still provisioning them. It’s likely the first-to-branch owlet is slightly farther away and will be found with subsequent searches.
May 10, 2016: First Owlet Sets Off Into The Wild
At night the oldest owlet left the nest box and set out somewhat accidentally into the wide world. Barred Owls are among the earliest owls to leave the nest, and the owlets on our cam are ready to leave, only 33 days after hatching! It is normal for Barred Owls to fall to the ground while branching – the nest box is pretty high up so the oldest owlet likely fell safely onto an adjoining branch or climbed up a tree if it fell on the ground.
April 10, 2016: Egg #3 Hatches In Barred Owl Nest Box
We have a complete brood on the Barred Owls Cam as of April 10! We are looking forward to watching these fluffy chicks grow up.
April 9, 2016: Egg #2 Hatches
A second Barred Owl chick emerged from its egg on April 9. One egg remains!
April 7, 2016: First Barred Owl Egg Hatches
The first of three eggs hatched on Barred Owl cam on April 7. We expect the other two eggs to hatch in the following days.
March 11, 2016: Egg #3 Laid by Barred Owl Female
A third egg was spotted in the Barred Owl nest on March 11.
March 7, 2016: Egg #2 Arrives At Barred Owl Nest
The female owl laid a second egg sometime during the night of March 7.
March 5, 2016: 2016 Breeding Season Kicks Off As Female Lays Egg #1
The Barred Owls welcomed their first egg of 2016 today, nearly 2 weeks earlier than last year.
Bird Cams is a free resource
providing a virtual window into the natural world
of birds and funded by donors like you