Both the box on the martin pole and the SQR box had an owl in it!
As a bit of a background, last year until today, the male had never been ‘seen’. There was a well known and photographed red owl that hung out in a natural roost about 1000 feet away from this site last winter. I had seen both owls roosting at the same time, in the tree and the box. It was close enough that this could have been the male, but far enough away that it didn’t have to be. It also seem to make sense that if the pair was two red owls then the male could have been in the box here and there and no one would be the wiser.
Which brings us to this first. I stopped by at dusk ~7:10pm, and both boxes had an owl in it. It was dark enough that I couldn’t tell the color of either of them by sight. I took a couple shots. I messed up the pole box one, I missed the focus and when I took down the camera from my eye, ‘he’ had already disappeared back down in to the box, without getting a chance to re-shoot and adjust. But it looks gray enough to me, hopefully not just an function of the poor lighting. If this is the male, is it a new different male or not? I guess we won’t know.
hopefully the female (confirmed red last year) is getting things ready in the box she used last year…or is it a new female in the pole box?
(see what happens when you figure out the camera settings? this photo was taken a few seconds AFTER the first photo.)