New Site #4, winter defense of box and First Confirmed Nesting

Site 4

This is prime egg laying/incubation time. Over the winter a new site #4 was located, since the old one was discontinued. The owner has set up and external trail cam to catch the action out side the box, and has recorded some food transfers from the male (the food provider) and the female as she incubates the presumed eggs.

let see if the embed videos work.
First is a February defense of the box against a pesky starling. The talon thrust seems quite effective!

Next is a food delivery from 4/13/19 hopefully good things to come from this new site location!


Spring Approaches

Site 9.

Activity began in January: Owner observation in italics:

Jan 14th

We have had another larger red owl who has moved in. We had a Barred owl that was hunting and out in the morning here. I also hear the Barred owl out at night in our yard. This may be the reason the owls have been coming and going. This larger red owl has ,however moved in.

A brief usurping of the squirrel resistance in Mid Feb.

Thank you, the squirrel is missing for 2 days. I just went up and pulled out all of the leaves and the box is ready for the owls again- silly squirrels- first one in 5 years

Activity has continued:

Mar 4th.

We have had a female red owl and a male red owl off and on for the last 5
weeks. This female seems to be very comfortable here. I have never seen the
male and female together. I have however seen mice that were left in the

Enjoy- the picture with the snow is from this morning ! she is happy


Now it seems a Gray Phased has appeared, from today March 17th.

Little gray male again today

Thanks for the updates, and we are about 2 weeks from peak egg laying time, hopefully the activity will continue!

2 Points to Tie (Owling Challenge) + Lots of Photos

Score: 2 to 2

It has been a better than average year for snowy owl sightings so we took our first family walk of the season along a local beach and trails on a mild December day.  Now my wife stopped to help out our youngest put some layers of clothes into a backpack and I casually walked up a head.  My wife did not like the apparent cheating by me looking for owls while she was helping out.  She quickly filed a complaint to the rules committee.  The committee quickly sent out a ruling that this did not violate any rules and it was indeed a fair part of the challenge.  This ruling would comeback to haunt me a little later on as I helped our youngest up the trail of a larger dune. My wife took the competitive advantage, scampered to the top to get a good view and quickly found 2 snowy owls before anyone else reached the top.   We are now tied with 2 owl points a piece, but it seems like this year is a better owl year for us, as there have been plenty of owl sightings the were not counted as points.  Especially barred owls seem to be around in good numbers this season. So hopefully more points to come.

First snowy owl, 1 point for wife.


Second snowy owl, 1 point for wife

the rest of these owls were not found with-in challenge parameters so no points.

barred owl (solo owl walk, no points)


This screech owl was in a hollow used last year, (no points)P1210884

another solo find, barred owl P1210918

This barred owl seen with-in a couple hundred feet of the barred owl below(solo owl find, no points)P1220019


a saw-whet in a pine found on a solo owl hunt (no-point)P1210477

Spreading the Resistance: Nature and Photo blog

Very nice, a very popular wordpress nature and photography blogger (site has over 10,000 followers)seems to have purchased an owl box just under 4 years ago. Just recently did a post about the first resident owl. Congrats! read the full account here: Emily Carter Mitchell ~ Nature as Art. nature and wildlife photography

as a side note, sorry but currently I am just doing boxes locally (NE massachusetts) but I am looking into a substitute format for the etsy store.

Fun Find

Site 1

The recent saw-whet owl was near by, but seemed to have only stayed in that roost for 1 day. I thought I had re-found it when I heard a cacophony of scolding nuthatches, chickadees,titmice,cardinals, and a single white-throated sparrow. Their ire was directed at small-mid sized well-foliated norway maple. Scanning the tree for the suspect owl, I finally got a glimpse of the culprit, but it wasn’t the saw-whet. It was a red phased screech owl. Most likely the same red phased owl that the box camera caught back on September 24th. The owl had not been back to the box since that day, but it would seem its still in the area, as the maple tree roost is about 700-800 feet away from the box.

red phased screech owl, through the only foliage window.

Owling Challenge 2018

Last years challenge was a bit of a pitcher’s duel, not many owls for points. I won last years challenge 1-0, with a road side barred owl. This year is off to a faster start. The first point for 2018 was also a road side barred owl, unfortunately it was too dark, and the docu-pic is in question. The ruling on the field is 1 point, but it maybe up for protest at the end of the season based on the poor quality of documentation. The second point was for a saw-whet owl that I was alerted to by tufted titmice. otherwise never would have seen it. So right now the score is 2 points for me, 0 points for my wife.

The questionable docu-shot for a barred owl, can almost make out the tail and the top of its head??? maybe a protest review if there is a tie.

Saw-Whet Owl 1 point for me


2018 Summary

One of the better years for this trail 6 nesting attempts with at least 15 owlets fledged.  Though there was a bit of site re-arranging .

Site 1
No Nesting this year, only owl seen this season was a one day snowy owl about 1/3 mile away.

Site 2
No screech owls…but calling of barred owls through out year.

Site 3
Screech Owls: 2 Red phase successful nesting

Total: 4 owlets fledged by 5/26/2018

Site 4


Site 5
Maryland successful nesting but details lacking
Screech Owls,
Yes, but no data

Site 6
First pair of screech owls at site.

Total: At least 2 owlets but timing?

Site 7
Relocated for 2017 season
2018: Total: Fledged 3 owlets first week of June.

Site 8
Total: at least 3 owlets fledged End of May.

Site 9
No Nesting but temp. substituted a near by  (but different territory) box that did have a nest

Total:  at least 3 owlets at substitute site fledged early June.

2018 Totals:
screech owl fledged….. 15+ (massachusetts)+ Maryland.

First 2 Occupants of the Season

Site 1 and Site 3,

Just a bit early but had 2 boxes with screech owls spend the day on Sunday Sept 23rd, 2018.  This is the first Screech owl activity at Site 1 since April 2015. Hopefully the owl will stick around and set up a territory, and not just traveling through the area.  Based on the screen capture of the in box camera, it does look like a red phase.


Site 3. Had an owl take up residence in July last year, this could be one of the pair last year, as they were a red phased pair (pretty sure).



Re-assigned Site 7

Site 7.

Site 7 had been discontinued, so it got re-assigned last year, and has had 2 successful nesting, one last year and one this year.

From the owner:

I forgot my box number but wanted to tell you that we have had success for 2 seasons in a row.
2017 we had 3 owlets that fledged and I believe the same female produced 3 owlets this year pictured below.
We have no camera inside so I am happy that we have these for reference. They fledged the day after their portraits were captured.
Thanks again for the update, it was a good year on this trail for nesting screech owls.