Today the male took a turn in the box that the female usually stays,(nesting as well). In fact, this is the first time that I know of that he was in this box by himself. A little dusting of snow completes the scene.
Back in april 2011 there was a ‘cool red tailed hawk’ flying about, I saw every so often during the summer and fall, but recently or maybe I have just noticed more, it has been defending the area around site 2. I saw it on January 1 2012 chase another red tailed hawk at full speed. Yesterday another normal looking red tailed was soaring fairly low and a few crows started to give chase and the white red tailed came in behind the pack of crows, and seemed to chase the crows away? perhaps helping out a mate? then landed on top of a row of pines about ~100 yards away. Since there aren’t any owls at this site using the boxes maybe this hawk can keep things interesting.
After work, I headed to the much reported Stackyard Rd. Rowley, an area that for the last few weeks have had Short Eared Owls seen fairly regularly, I stopped by a couple time before with no luck, today there was one owl working the marsh to the north. It never got too close, started out 1/4 mile away and maybe got within 200 yards, decent looks through binoculars, but only a poor ID type photo especially with the setting sun. I had never seen a SEO before, I am not much of a list keeper, but I know which owls kinds I have and haven’t seen. (picture taken ~ 4:30 pm)
After which I headed to Site 3 to get some more practice with night photos, The female was in the SQR nest box. This was the first time I had seen her in this box this owl season, and only the 2nd-3rd time she has spent the day in the box this season. She flew out pretty late (5:08 pm) as I was taking pictures I heard a Great Horned Owl to the north west. I heard it pretty clearly so it was fairly close, but not so close that I thought I could find it. The last screech owl picture was from 5:20 pm. So two types of owls seen and one heard, good way to start the weekend!
pushing the limits of owl stillness on this last one, 4 second exposure!
Over at owlwatch.org a site that usually has ‘early’ nesting barred owls, since its in florida. Last year it seems they skipped nesting, but this year the barred owl pair has an egg already!
Thanks to the owner of Site 8 I get these great composites now and then to document sightings.
Last recorded visit was 12/31 … until today(1-16-2012) … we probably have a different individual. it shows more white and has a pale grey tone; instead of the darker brown tones [with more contrast to white] of previous regular visitor. I took some snaps through telescope, and will pass them along if they’re any good.Here’s the latest composite of two returning owls.
Looks like the Female of last year on the right, I am thinking the male of last year on the left?
let me know if you are thinking differently.
So far, I have heard screech owls about 1/2 dozen different time at site 2 since since October 2011. But not one has shown up in either of the 2 boxes… The last, was two nights ago 1-10-12, at 11:00 pm and through closed windows, so it was close. So ‘they’ should know about the boxes, but that doesn’t mean ‘they’ will use them.
I have always been curious about disturbances, and how the screech owl handles them. I have a some fluid thoughts along the line of the amount of comfort the owl has with a particular hollow vs. the severity of disturbance. The first box (normal) and screech owl I ever had (before this trail) was back in 2000, I was too excited with get an owl. I think I scared it away with too many flash photos in the 2-3 days it first appeared. I think I never let it get comfortable in that hollow it left and never re-appeared (and the following year it was taken over by squirrels).
This site, they have used these boxes for the last couple of years, so clearly they are comfortable. This was the first time I know of that a disturbance actually flushed the male owl out of his box. I was curious if and when he would return. I didn’t have to wait long, as he was back today. Must not have been too much of a concern for the owl.