A barn owl female starts brooding immediately after laying her first egg, rather than waiting until she has completed laying her clutch. As a result her eggs hatch in the order they were laid, and her chicks differ in age and size. When food is scarce, the older and larger chicks may eat younger and weaker siblings, increasing their own chances of survival. (These chicks have been temporarily removed from their nest box for inspection.)
As dusk sets in, a little owl (Athene noctua) female emerges from the hollow ash pollard she nests in. Thiérache, France.