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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Male=red phased (seemed to disappear)
# of Eggs……………..
No screech owls…sporadic calling of barred owls through out year.
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
No screech owls
Maryland successful nesting but details lacking
First Egg ???
# of Eggs…………. ??
First Hatch ???
# Hatched ………… at least 2
Fledged ……………. at least 2
No screech owls, great horned owl(s) still heard occ.
no screech owls
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)
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 relocated 2014, Owl in Box with-in 3 days of installation (new record): after the 1rst year, a completely different pairing nested for 2015.
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
screech owl eggs ……11 + (massachusetts) 2+ Maryland
screech owl fledged…..10+ (massachusetts)
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.
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.
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.
my notes: thank you for the updates and great shots especially the last one!
I wanted to share with you something we are so excited about! We woke up this morning to such a fun surprise! I bought an owl house from you back in February I believe and I loved that your house had a slot entrance just for the fact that if we had babies, we’d be able to see them all. This has been the highlight of the day for sure! We have three babies so far.
From the owner
With all of the rain for the last 24 hours and more on the way- the mother owl returned to the box and was calling! We went out to see if the babies needed help and were in trouble and found 1 ( youngest baby we think) in a lower branch un protected from the rain and in distress! We put the ladder up to the box and then scaled up the little dead tree where the unprotected bay was! We pick it up – dried it off and placed it in the box with mom and they are so happy and the baby has perked up now
. They have been preening and cooing and the little one is safe for now . Searched for 2 hours and we could not find the other 2
Got a bunch of photos, plus the observations from the owner, here is the wrap up from site 9
3/28/15 – 1
1 egg did not hatch
4/30/15 – 2 egg hatched
5/2/15— 3 and 4
5/3/15- 5 th egg hatched
4th owlet died 5/4
Successful fledging 3 healthy owlets
This site has been busy and a bit confusing, as there has been what seems as a switcher-roo with owl couples. Last year the female was a red phase and the male was gray, this year the female is a gray phase and the male is red. There was also a period of time when it seem like the last year’s male was trying to hold on to the hollow, and perhaps this years pair usurped the box for themselves…Anyway I got a note today that the first egg has been laid! (Despite it snowing out!). Thanks you to the owner for all the observations!
From today (3/28/2015)
Hi.we have an egg from our gray brown female. The male brought a.mouse to her and tried to feed her.the red male brought in 3 mice yesterday. Box is full
Good news is there seems to be plenty of eats around for the owls, as the snow pack is still around but slowly disappearing
Our new red male is quite the hunter. He does something unusual as he takes
his prey and brings it out in the slot and hangs out there with it. The owls
we had last year never did this – but he takes it out of the box ( after he
placed it in the box during the evening). Yesterday we had a chipmunk, a
very large rat and a mouse. This morning there was another mouse. I suspect
we will have eggs in a week or two as they are storing up their reserves
now. They have been spending a lot of time together and then they take
breaks but always return to nest together a few times per week
We changed our red.infea red LEDs to non glow.white and now.the owls have different colors.we have a red owl this am.not sure if it is our original female or what. We have the other owl that we thought was a female maybe the morph is the male? The whitish owl is now a red one! See if you can decide on sizes
I have a bit of a back log of updates hopefully over the next couple weeks I’ll be able to get up to date as we get close to nesting season…so I will start these from the owner of Site 8,
From Jan 16th
Last night I was lucky enough to see the red owl leave the slot box at about 4:55 pm. It was getting pretty dark by then, but I was able to track its flight to a tree on the edge of our yard. Almost immediately afterwards I saw a second owl fly in from the direction of the grey owl’s tree hollow. It met the red owl and although their silhouettes were partially blocked by a tree, it was apparent the two owls copulated! I moved to a window closer to the activity and I could still see the silhouettes of both owls.
I was able to confirm that the red owl is the female and the grey owl the male. Both owls lingered on their respective perches for nearly ten minutes before they flew off.
From Feb 11th
I haven’t seen the red female and the grey male together since our trip to NYC on Jan 24th to 26th. For the past two weeks only the red owl has been seen regularly in our yard, usually in the slot box at sunrise. On a few occasions the slot box has appeared to be vacant all day; only to see an owl appear at about sunset or even a little later. In the dimming light of dusk I cannot say for sure whether the owl was the red or the grey or even a new individual. The tree hollow used by the grey male is filled with snow, so I can no longer see two owls simultaneously.
Today the red female came to the slot box at dawn and was present at sunset. I checked a couple of times to see if she was still in the box as it got darker. By about 5:30 she had left the box. At about 5:39 I scanned the yard (looking west) to see if I could spot her silhouette. I spotted her in a short time and almost immediately a second owl swooped and copulated with her! I assume the first owl was the red female, but I could not identify the second owl, which flew off as quickly as it arrived. I got a second glance of it as it flew toward and over my vantage point at the door to our back deck. The female remained on her perch for a moment and then flew off. An owl appeared in the slot box. Seconds later an owl was following the same route toward me and over the house. It was too dark to see color, but the incident confirms a pair of owls are active in the neighborhood even though only one of them has been seen during the past two weeks.
From Feb 24th
Last night my wife and I watched the red female until she left the slot box at about 5:45pm. She perched in the crabapple tree for about 10 minutes until a second owl flew in from the west. After a short pause, the female flew across our yard and landed near the second owl. THIS OWL quickly flew over and copulated with the female. After that the female returned to the slot box and we lost sight of the male in the darkness. The red female very rarely returns to the slot box after leaving it at dusk; so something was different. This morning I watched an owl emerge from the round box to perch in the crabapple tree for about 5 minutes and then it flew into the slot box at about 6 am. In that light, the owl seemed different and as the light improved the owl is grey! Since the light was good I took 3 sets of photos to commemorate the event! Then … Surprise, SURPRISE the female appeared!
Thank for the updates, what a great shot of the pair!
There appears to be a change of owls here. The red phase female was seen earlier in the fall but it seem that she may be gone and replaced with a gray(ish) phase one.
Hi I am having trouble deciding who this is as the owl is on the brown side,
not red and this is the one I have been seeing a lot of? It behaves like our
female from last year but in all light it seems brownish
From 12/27/2014 We confirmed today that it is a morph female and the gray male was here yesterday-took pictures and compared them- sad our red female is gone