Unfathomable Gut Punch!

I try to keep this strictly as a log book of owl activity. But this is important enough to break from that idea.  For lack of words I will keep it short and to the point. For the last 6-7 years I have been getting all the wood for these owl boxes from a family owned lumber mill from the small town I grew up in. This good family is in need of some help as they are thrusted into an unfathomable situation.  If anyone is so inclined I though I might use this small blog to help a little by spreading the link. ugg.

Active in Maryland…Is it the Same Owl?

Site 5

Maryland has checked in with this report:

This owl behaved differently from our previous owl, Rosie (more active, head out further, etc.) but I, of course, couldn’t tell for sure. We finally got pics from our camera onto our computer so we thought we’d have you give it a look.

The first pic is our current owl.


compare to the picture I took on a visit back in november 2012:
Looks to be the Same Owl as Last Year... which is a very dark red phased owl

Really tough to tell, very well could be the same owl. I guess that is they way I am leaning despite the more relaxed behavior.

Spreading the Resistance: Another Quick Resident

Although not a record (site 9 = 3 days)I do have a report of another quick resident owl taking up. It took about 15 days, I installed the box November 21st 2015 and then got this note in December, the owl was seen Dec 6th in Massachusetts

Shortly before Thanksgiving the box was installed.
December 6th something bright caught my eye. I was very excited but then thought it was an orange oak leaf that had caught on the box.
In fact, it was an adult Screech Owl checking things out from the hole in the box. I haven’t seen her recently but she or someone else was very active outside my window late last night.
We are delighted. I hope she stays and invites someone to live with her.

Thank you much for the update, and congrats on the owl!

More Owls Still No Points

…for me. I have seen a couple more barred owls, one by myself on a walk the other more frustrating one on a family walk. I saw it flying and land still over 100 feet away. I got my camera out and had it in the sight but the focus was off, instead of snapping a picture, I went for the re-focus, but it flew away and all I was left with was some pictures of empty blurry branches! Alas no one else saw it so no point! Today I did find a great horned on a lunch walk, which is a given no point, but it was fun to find regardless. I don’t think it is the same one as last year with an eye wound, but it was in the same area. If it is the same one as last year the injury healed well.

great horned owl roosting some 50-60 feet up in a pitch pine

First Point

I have seen 4 owls since this years owling challenge has started.   However, none of these earned me any points upon further review. I was either by myself on a walk (1 barred, 1 great horned) or never could get photo documentation (2 barreds that flew across the road). The first point was awarded for a snowy owl that my wife sighted on a family dune walk as her first owl (and our first snowy owl) of the season. I am thinking of filing an official protest to the rules committee!  Anyway, for the time being, she is up 1 point to 0 but there is a long season left.


Added Link: Long-eared Owl Banding

The main target for fall migration owl banding seems to be the saw-whet owl. There are many stations through out Canada and the U.S that target the these little owls for banding. Usually with a mist nest and an ‘audio lure’ (a recording of the owls call that is on a continuous playback) to attract them. Sometimes other owl species are caught as well during these banding sessions, such as the long-eared owl. So up at the Hilliardton Marsh wildlife area in northeastern Ontario they decided to set up an area to target long-eared owls with good success. Kudos and hopefully this type of effort will continue! The link has been added to the link section of the blog for future reference.

More Owl Returns

Site 9

Note from owner:

She has settled in nicely and has been there everyday since Sunday October 18. On Sunday morning she was not in the box. Around 12 noon I saw something fly by and low and behold it was the female owl back in the slot in her box! This is the first time that I have ever seen the Owls fly in other than early in the morning. We have a resident Coopers Hawk who has been frequenting our bird feeder so this may be the reason she couldn’t get back in her box. When she flies out at around 6:10 pm she flies into our back wetlands and is vocalizing with another owl! We are looking forward to another fun owl season!


3rd Year of Good Snowy Owling !!???

There are some early indication that the winter of 2015-2016 could be yet another good ‘irruption’ year.  Starting with the eastern seaboard record setting winter of 2013-2014. Last winter 2014-2015 was above average with snowy owls but sightings got tougher as the record snows came a the end of January. This year Wisconsin seems to be early snowy owl migration central.    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/snowy-owls-fly-south-for-the-fall-b99601193z1-335411881.html       As this article attests.   Who knows how this will translate along the eastern seaboard, as the irruption could be targeted in the great lakes region, but hopefully it will at least mean another above average year for the northeast.

Owling Challenge Last and This Years

Last years Owling Challenge between my wife and me ended in a tie, it was 3 to 3 going into mid winter, then the snows just kept going and it wasn’t really possible to walk with a 3 foot plus snow pack for the rest of the winter.

This years Owling Challenge has started and so far neither of us has earned a point. I have seen 2 owls in the last 3 days, first was a barred owl that the flew across the road as I was driving our kids home from school, alas no photo, no one else saw it, or so they say (they may be in the tank for their mom) so NO point. Then today it was a great horned owl I found (with the help of some blue jays and other irritated song birds) as I took a quick stroll at some trails that are right on my way home from work. But since I was alone, the strict judging criteria of the challenge means NO point. But I did get a quick shot in the fading light.

And Then There Were Two

Site 8

This site has become active. Got these Messages:

From 10/16/2015

(then a day later)
And then there were TWO OWLS!

screech 102015

screech 2102015

Tis the Season,

Site 3

Here in Massachusetts, this right around when screech owls start using hollows more often, as the weather gets colder and the leaves start dropping. Right on cue, it appears as the Female has decided to spend the day in the ‘pole’ box (on a purple martin pole).


Compare to this shot of the this particular female her first year, (taken march 2013) looks like the facial borders have darken up a bit with age, but otherwise so close that it appears to be the same owl.


2015 summary

Site 1
No Nesting this year, female was seen last in april, male never seen after the snows of winter, a great horned and a barred owl were also near by but also seemed driven out by the deep snow pack of mid-late winter.
Screech Owls,
Male=red phased (seemed to disappear)
Female=gray phased
First Egg:
# of Eggs……………..
First Hatch:
# Hatched……………
Fledged ……………….

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

Site 3
Screech Owls
Male=gray phased (confirmed 2011)
Female=gray phased (first seen 2013 nesting)
First Egg: early april
# of Eggs ………….unknown
# Hatched………… unkonwn
Fledged……………. at least 2 (early June 2015)

Male seen here near nest box a few weeks before fleging


Site 4

No screech owls

Site 5
Maryland successful nesting but details lacking
Screech Owls,
Male= ?
Female=red phased
First Egg ???
# of Eggs…………. ??
First Hatch ???
# Hatched ………… at least 2
Fledged ……………. at least 2

Site 6
No screech owls, great horned owl(s) still heard occ.

Site 7
no screech owls

Site 8
Screech Owls, at least 2 which nested nearby
again in 2014 did not nest at site 8, but nested near by with 4 owlets observed to have fledge!
Male= Gray phased (browner)
Female=Gray phased
First Egg …………Early/mid April
# of Eggs………….at least 4
First Hatch…………Early/Mid May
# Hatched …………4
Fledged ……………. 4 (3 fledged June 10th, one shortly there after)

Site 9
site 9 relocated 2014, Owl in Box with-in 3 days of installation (new record): after the 1rst year, a completely different pairing nested for 2015.
Screech Owls,
Male= Red phase (new for 2015)
Female= Gray phased (new for 2015
First Egg:…………….. 3/28/2015
# of Eggs…………….5
First Hatch: …………..4/30/2015
# Hatched…………….5
Fledged ……………….3

2014 Totals:
screech owl eggs ……11 + (massachusetts) 2+ Maryland
screech owl fledged…..10+ (massachusetts)
2+ Maryland.

Barred Success Sorta

Barred Site 2.

Unfortunately they didn’t use the barred owl box, but a pair of barred owls did nest near by or on Barred Site 2 as it appears they fledged 2 owlets in early July.

here is one of the recently fledged owlets from 7/8/15

Spread the Resistance: Repeat

This is the second year of successful nesting from clara in mass:
the update was sent to me in early june, so I was slacking in getting it up on the blog. Thanks for the update!!!!

Three baby’s were together in big tall pine down in the gully near tennis court like last year, another was in another pine they were all making noises two more heads popped down as I walked past the box one could have been the mom or even another one, battery gave out as I tried to get some pictures oh well got one good picture, see the two feathery bottoms and one looking at me… cool eyes. What a treat to have seen this little bit of life happening on a daily time line. Hope to find them in am and get some more pictures. Last year they moved to the woods near the back marsh you could hear them in the distance.

4 babys 002

fleding owls 008


Nicely Done

Site 8

It seems the owls have taken up here once again, they had been nesting near by the last 2 years, but this year they decided to take up here…from the owner

photos taken during the past week (June 5 – June 9). We watched at least 3
baby owls leave their nesting box this evening (June 10th). One baby remained in the box and it was too dark to see if any others remained in the box with it.

mom(red) and dad

2 owlets peeking out

Recently fledged owlet and mom…

my notes: thank you for the updates and great shots especially the last one!


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