Indianapolis, In. — The barn owl pair on a DNR nest cam in southern Indiana is raising a second brood of chicks unusually late into the nesting season.The existence of a bonus round of chicks in 2017 is good news for barn owls because they are an endangered species in Indiana. In 2015, only 10 barn owl nests were reported statewide.The mother owl laid this second clutch of eggs in late September, which is just within the standard barn owl breeding season from March to October. But this year was the first time this pair laid eggs that late while on the nest cam.Five chicks hatched from the second clutch.On Dec. 5, DNR nongame bird biologists inspected the chicks while placing identification bands on their legs.Three chicks were healthy, whereas two were much smaller. The healthy chicks will likely survive until fledging. The average number of chicks fledged per nest is two to three, so having three survive is normal, according to Allisyn Gillet, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife nongame bird biologist.“The survival of the chicks will depend on food availability over the next few weeks,” Gillet said. “There must be enough prey to feed both adults and chicks in order to have a successful second nest.”This pair successfully raised and fledged six chicks in late spring.A barn owl pair has been living in this DNR-built nest box inside a metal pole barn in southern Indiana almost every year for the last eight years.Barn owls were once common in the Midwest, living in hollow trees and wooden barns, and hunting for meadow voles in hayfields, idle grain fields, pastures and other grasslands. But many wooden barns are being torn down, and few modern farms offer the land a barn owl needs for hunting.The goal of the webcam is to promote public interest in birds and raise awareness about efforts to support barn owls.DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program has been placing nest boxes for barn owls since 1984. The nest boxes, like the one the webcam owls use, give owls a safe place to raise their young. More information is here.The barn owl webcam can be viewed anytime with an unlimited number of viewers here.The barn owl is one of more than 750 animal species, including many rare and endangered animals, supported by the DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program. WDP depends on donations to the DNR Nongame Fund. You can donate here.
Batesville, In. — Downtown Batesville-based Miss Shannon’s Music Studio has announced plans to move and expand operations in the city. Owner Shannon Kramer Mullins hopes to occupy the building at the intersection of East Boehringer Street and North Park Avenue (The former Batesville Wing Company).Mullins says the local demand for private voice, piano, violin, guitar and yoga classes has exploded. The studio currently has nine highly-skilled instructors that teach about 400 students. Miss Shannon’s Music Studio has been awarded the “Musikgarten Exemplary Program Award” for the last two straight years.Recently, Mullins and the owner of the property approached Batesville economic development officials about available incentives.The renovation would cost about $350,000 and include demolition of the existing space, eight new classrooms, event space and 600 square-feet of rental space.
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes Summer Camp entered its fourth day at Dr. Kearny elementary school.The camp is run by varsity soccer players and had close to 60 Fort St. John residents participate.UVIC player and camp coach Isaac Koch explained that the camp focused on a different skill set each day such as passing, shooting and ball control.- Advertisement –Kids shooting during the 2018 Vikes Summer Camp. Photo by John Luke Kieper.Koch added that he’s been very impressed with the skill of the Fort St. John soccer players.“This is kind of a more elite camp then we do at UVIC,” said Koch. “All the kids know how to play, so it’s a lot more coaching then it is babysitting. It’s a lot of fun.”Advertisement Koch mentioned that one of the best qualities he’s seen from the players were their excellent attitudes.“Their attitude is the biggest thing I’ve noticed. They’re collecting balls, listening pretty well and they’re all just pretty great.”Kids in the huddle with player/coach Isaac Koch. Photo by John Luke Kieper.The camp concludes Friday where the participants will practice all the skills they’ve learned as well as play a variety of different games. The UVIC Vikes Summer Camp plans to return next summer.Advertisement