A screech owl family made the news of the Marblehead Reporter
a red phased male, a gray phased female and a couple owlets that are close to fledging. it also has a couple nice photos.
4:45 am a screech owl was heard whinnying for a few minutes, It didn’t stay in the box (I would have been very surprised if it did). Hopefully checking out an empty cavity for future reference.
The bluebirds were seen as well later today as well, they have 5 eggs.
Got a report that the first owlet (face) made brief but definitive appearance in the entry hole today. All five seem to be doing well, although this camera is a bit more zoomed in the the other one, so its doesn’t show the whole floor in the field of view. Mom has been spending more and more time roosting out of the box and in the maple foliage near the box, and was out an about fairly early. Light enough to get a photo (albeit not good quality) with out a flash (I don’t like using flashes for owls).
If the owl boxes goes unoccupied the entire winter(s) into spring, about april its pretty safe to call it a lost season screech owl wise (site 8 is an exception). However its just the beginning of songbird nesting season. So Site 2 got fitted with a bluebird house. A homemade Gilwood style box (building directions).
However this site has lots of house sparrows around, house sparrows are to bluebirds (well any cavity nesting native songbirds) as squirrels are to screech owls. Well somebody came up with a solution that works fairly well. Monofilament, as in fishing line. For some reason house sparrows are spooked by it and native songbirds are not. So if you do try to get bluebirds or tree swallows but have house sparrows, (and don’t have it in you to trap and dispose of them) try some monofiliment designs. The one on this Gilwood box, allowed chickadees to have a successful nest last year, and it looks like bluebirds are nesting this year.
The owl has made a few appearances since it was first seen April 16. but has not been seen since April 29. If it is on eggs, sitings during the day, during incubation could be minimal to non-existent. Quite often the female just leaves briefly right around dark, she doesn’t spend much time in the entrance and will hop down quick on the return. Since no cam, we will have a better idea heading into June, if an owl continues (more frequently as owlets hatch and growing) to be seen. Or if there are no more sitings then there is always next year. Hopefully some fuzzy faces appear as we head towards the end of June.
the photo is from april 19.
All 5 eggs have hatched here, and they owlets seem to be doing well and are ~10 days old. The male still remain elusive. Today the Female flew out, called a few times, the male didn’t appear or call back. Then she did some hunting for what seemed like small (insect?) items.
(thats the tip of the females wing right before flying out.)
At least 2 owlets fledged from the Maryland SQR box. With no cam in the box its tought to get an accurate count, This is one of the first prototypes of this type of Box. It intergrates the cedar front,back and bottom from a normal style homemade box, that was a successfull nest back in 2008, before it was taken over by squirrels in the fall of 2008. Most likely this is the 3rd season with a nest, all though last year, was unconfirmed nesting without fledglings being seen, but the box was not observed as frequently as the the first season, and this season.