happens to be at work, http://www.salemstate.edu/academics/schools/1028.php if you look over at the far right, the last item in the “related link” menu is the Cat Cove Web Cam is now showing nesting screech owls. As of this morning there were either 3 hatchlings, or 2 hatchlings and a dud egg. Yesterday night there was only one hatchling. (tough to see positioned between the upper 2 eggs, not the best resolution) but now you can watch for yourselves, they are easier to see when they are in motion.
Well for the squirrel at least, there is now mom and pups in the box on the martin pole. Going though the evicting routine of lowering the pole, open the box and removing leaves, when some squirmy things were under the leaves. They can have the box for a few weeks, at least until the pups can fend for themselves a bit. Plus the red phased owl was content in the SQR box today. This does mean that it will be tougher to tell if or when a pairing occurs(ed).
note to self:
next season, move the pole further away from the forsythia and the apple tree branches that are behind it.
The box on the martin pole has been by far the most used box here this winter. But given the recent squirrel take overs, perhaps the owl is becoming more comfortable with the SQR box. (which has been up a year less time, but was up when an owl was first seen in Oct 09) The SQR box is ~60 feet away with-in the line of sight as well. We are getting into prime nesting season and still no evidence of any pairing.
It been 29 days since the first egg was laid, but probably only 26-27 days since incubation started. Incubation usually is between 26-30 days. So we should be expecting the first hatchling anytime now.
3 texas screech owl cams seem to look promising, with eggs in the last one, the other 2 expect eggs soon.
and in the awww so cute category, the very hi quality (HD in fact) from an owl enthusiast on youtube of a pair of screechers preening
Mom owl seems to be doing well, despite this late winter weather, this time, it wasn’t the wind so much as it was the rain, all 6-10 inches of it that fell. The box looks reasonably dry considering the last couple very wet days (an added benefit to the vinyl sheeting is that it helps keep the box drier). For orientation, her head is in the upper left, tail lower right.
Only related due to the subject matter, not a part my trail. 3-4 week ago
Mass Audubon did a blog post about a screech owl staying in a box in Falmouth MA. Looks like its a Box on a cedar poll with flashing to keep squirrels and predators at bay.
on an anecdotal side note, although red-phased owls have always been the minority in the NE, I know of 4-5 individual red-phased and only 1-2 gray-phased, in and around the sites. (these do not included this falmouth owl or a gray phased that has been well documented in Rye NH.)
Yesterday the male was hanging out in the second box(circular hole), this box is ~145′ away from the current nest. He seems to either hang out here or in an evergreen, there are a couple cedars and large yews that are a closer to the nest.
Still not giving up. Squirrel was evicted again. It didn’t get out with a shake of the pole. The box was lowered, the squirrel leaped to the ground (~10′) with a “thud” as the box just was getting lowered. Leaves were cleaned out, and a little more pruning.
Another (or the same) gray squirrel, somehow, is most likely jumping to the box on the martin pole. Even after some pruning. The pole was shaken, which evicted the squirrel temporarily. We’ll see if this site is still viable this year. This again show the importance of box placement. Jumping distance for squirrels can be 8 feet, and since this is not a SQR type box. Once on the roof, the squirrel is home free.