100m check out artist’s YouTube channel as late owl chicks become internet sensations
Thixendale-based wildlife artist Robert E Fuller has accrued 100m viewers on YouTube – thanks to the help of eight barn owl chicks on live camera feeds.
As summer slowly closes over the Yorkshire countryside, birdwatchers from around the world are focusing their attention on the eight newly hatched barn owl chicks.
The unseasonable owlets, the results of two late broods, became internet sensations after Mr Fuller began streaming the action from inside their nests.
An average of three million people tune in to his channel each month to catch up with these chicks and to watch the films he makes about animals he studies for his paintings.
Recently, Mr Fuller, whose cameras also capture kestrels, tawny owls and stoats living in or near his Thixendale garden, celebrates a total of 100 million views of his channel since its launch in 2010.
He puts the popularity of the channel down to a legacy of lockdown anxiety.
“Filming inside animal nests was something I just did for my own research, to inform my paintings, but then when the pandemic sent so many people indoors, I decided to share the footage online,” said the former Woldgate School pupil.
“It was a difficult time and I realised how much watching the nests boosted my own morale, so I thought it would help others too. But I had no idea how popular it would be.
“I would have expected viewing figures to drop once the breeding season came to a close and there were no longer chicks to watch growing up in a nest,” said Mr Fuller. “But these late broods mean people will be able to keep watching and following the lives of these owlets long into autumn.”
The latest broods belong to barn owl couple’s Gylfie and Finn and Willow and Ghost.
Named by their followers, these owls captured hearts after the artist filmed their first, tentative courtships.
Visit www.youtube.com/c/robertefuller to find out more.