The latest viral video sensation is a few inches high, covered in feathers – and prone to regurgitating a lot.
Gylfie is a barn owl who lives in a tree trunk in Thixendale, North Yorkshire – and she regularly attracts 20K people watching her YouTube live stream.
People tune in from around the world to watch her feed her chicks. And Gylfie is just one of the stars on wildlife artist Robert E Fuller’s YouTube channel, which had clocked up 123m views at the last count.
Robert has six different hi-res CCTV cameras around his home and gallery in the Ryedale village of Thixendale.
Although he began the channel in 2010, viewing figures really picked up sharply during the lockdowns.
“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.”
Viewers around the world
Robert’s channel got a further boost today after he appeared on the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 to talk about the live streams.
“We’ve got literally millions of people watch the live stream from across the world,” Robert told Jeremy.
“It’s a community we’ve built that’s really special as well. We’ve got people commenting and watching from around the world.
“I wish I could respond to every single message. But I’m out there filming the wildlife, sometimes up to 18 hours a day.
“I was up at four this morning filming kingfishers. But this is what I do – I absolutely love what I do.”
The barn owl live stream has even replaced sport on the screens at a bar in the Netherlands.
Regulars at the Bowling & Partycentrum de Merwehal in Dordrecht love watching it, after bar manager Nils van Dalen got hooked on the channel when he was off sick from work.
“Ever since, I’ve been sticking around to see how my favourite owls are doing every day,” he told Jeremy.
“It’s like a natural drama, so it’s beautiful.”