Clean it and They Will Come

Site 5

Made a trip down to Maryland (D.C area) to visit my sister and her family with my family, No sighting of an owl this year before the visit. The area seems both owl-ly and squirrel-ly but I wasn’t overly concerned. Also this is a consistent site with owls that are inconsistent. The date of first sighting in the box seems to vary wildly. It is likely this site has had a screech owl nest every year since 2008. We showed up Thursday pm, no owl. I did ‘whistle’ up an owl to respond Friday night. While imitating an owl is a decent way to tell if they are near by I have seen nothing to suggest that it will attract them to a box in any way. But there was an owl around. I was comfortable enough that there was no owl in the box during the day saturday, that I clean it out in the afternoon (as opposed to waiting till dark to make sure there was no owl). The debri was consistent with a nesting debri which is like a dusty mortar with woodchips and feathers. Replaced the wood chips. After the box was buttoned up, as I was cleaning up the ladder and tools. A screech owl quietly called with a monotone ‘bounce’ a few times (it was late afternoon but still plenty light). The next door neighbors have a bamboo ‘forest’ ahh, maybe 300 sq feet of 15-20 foot bamboo, probably make a good roosting place for the owl. Anyway Sunday morning, viola an owl in the box. This is the second time this season that an owl returned the day after a cleaning! Are they watching? Need to claim the hollow after a intruder? Whatever the reason its fun! Photo taken first thing sunday morning right before we left. A good way to leave.

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