From the owner
While “Brown” owl has been seen nearly every day this month [23 out of 28 days], “White Face” hasn’t been seen since March 30th. Apparently the backyard birds haven’t been mobbing an empty box (see 4/13 post). Yesterday afternoon, I went out onto the back deck and suddenly realized that both owls were watching me. Today I confirmed that “White Face” is in the ’round hole’ box, while “brown” continues to roost in the ‘slot box’. I’m even more curious to see if “White Face” has been nesting.
While using the telescope to observe these owls, I’ve frequently noticed chickadees at a hole in a tree within 20 feet of both owl boxes. I suspect there is a nest, but haven’t confirmed it.
It would appear that she(“white face”) is using the circle holed box for a nest.
Bold little chickadees if they are nesting so close to the owls.
Back on the last day of last year I did a post about looking at potential owl roost/tree cavities. The owl I saw was in a north facing hole, in the winter no less. This was worth noting for me, as this would be open to our fiercest weather. However, there is some suggestion that they may like north facing entrances for nesting, but this seems to be primarily in the south (which kinda makes sense). Anyway I saw it a couple more times, then with all the snow we had over the winter, the hole became completely filled, it was no more. Now with spring weather, but leaves just starting out (to roost in foliage) the owl was back. It was in the entrance most of the day, so doubtful its a female on eggs.
However, it could be:
A male with a female down inside,
Just a male hanging out with a near by nest?
Just an unpaired owl. (male?female?)
last and probably least likely, a female who will start incubating soon?
Talk about an upgrade, this photo was taken from a similar distance as the photo from hollow obsession
Last year the the fledged on the night of April 22-23. So my guess is that at least one will fledge tonight. All three of them are spending time in the entrance checking out the big world.
Mom looks a bit frazzled, she could use some rest.
Well, It looks like only 3 of the eggs were successful. In talking to Phil Brown, who helps out with the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas. We both suspect that the first egg that was laid most likely froze. Phil noted, Before she started incubating (screech owl may not start incubating until the second or even third egg is laid), there was a night were she was gone for a few hours and the air temps were ~ 15 degrees F. However the three remaining owlets are seem to be doing well.
meanwhile, with the milder temps the male has been roosting in some of the near by evergreens, they seem to be creatures of habit. He frequents some of the same places he roosted last year. It certainly makes him easier to find.
Although sometimes he gets displaced, or just decides to move (by mobbing songbirds or ???) today he flew into the natural cavity after starting out in an eastern juniper.
A quick check over at site 3, confirmed the male is a gray phase, and the female appears to be incubating (via box cam, only RCA feed to TV.) She didn’t move much, so if, and hopefully how many eggs have yet to be determined.
An update from the owner:
During the period of 3/21 thru 3/30, we frequently had both owls visible at the same time [“brown” owl in slot box & “white face” in round hole]. Since 3/30″brown” owl has been seen frequently in the slot box at various times during the day, but I haven’ t seen “white face” at all.
This afternoon, nearly every blue jay, robin, titmouse, etc in our neighborhood came into our yard making a LOUD demonstration! This hasn’t happened very often and the surprising thing is that the bluejays were “attacking” the round hole box, not the slot box where the “brown” owl had been roosting this afternoon.
Hmmmmmm, maybe “white face” hasn’t left the scene and maybe the round hole box isn’t vacant?
It will be interesting if they are nesting, to see which is the female, and which style she picked to be the nest box!
An owl on mammal crime. The mammal looked to be a rabbit. The owl, a larger owl judging by the size of the pellet, about the size of a man’s thumb. Could it be the barred owl, that had been heard once in the fall and seen once in early winter. Or perhaps a great horned owl that have also been heard in the area, but not nearly as recently. Most likely an unsolvable case. The evidence did look a bit old, but probably with-in a month’s time frame.
pellet upper left, some droppings, and fur mainly towards the lower right part of the image, may be some rabbit scat?
Large owl pellet
I guess this was seen before by Phil Brown mid march over at birdsofessex blog but almost a month later it was seen a couple miles away, so its still in the area.
its a partial albino or leucistic red-tailed hawk.
They are growing up quickly, I counted at least 3, but with the resolution it was tough to definitively count 4. (there were 4 eggs).