If Looks Could Kill

Site 1

I had to drop some one off at the airport at 5:00am, so afterwards I headed to site 1 to try to figure out if the female had disappeared or if she was incubating under the male. The male, unlike other years, has been occupying (daily) the SQR type box that had been nest the previous 2 years. It seemed very strange, there is a second unoccupied box on site (150ft away) that he usually stayed in during the first part of incubation. It was ~ 5:50am when I arrived, I couldn’t find an owl silhouette anywhere, I gave in to temptation and whistled an imitation. Almost immediately I saw an owl fly off from the direction of the box to the left, and then a second owl. I saw what I think were two owls in a tree, one about 7-8 feet above the other, with some quiet calls between them. I set up a distance in front of the box and waited. I didn’t wait long until what I think was the female flew to the entrance and disappeared quickly in to the box. There was a few call that seemed to come from the box. A few minute later the male showed up and eventually landed in the entrance, there he stayed the rest of the day. So I am pretty sure the female is incubating eggs underneath. I hedge a bit just because it was dark and I never saw them at the entrance together, nor did I get a picture of a definitive gray phase (female).

The photo is right as the male landed at the entrance, the dilation in his eyes says it was dark!

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