Sad Ending….New Beginning???

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Wait, what was that, is there something in the box??? I thought to myself as I am looking through a bunch of budding leaves and branches. I walk to a clearing and see something gray slink back down out of the entrance. Hmm, shouldn’t be a squirrel…are owls that plentiful that another owl would use the box while the family was away? So I watch a little bit, a squirrel sits on branch to the right(facing) of the box and a red phase screech owls swoops from out of the the near by yew and takes a pass at the squirrel and lands in the entrance. Uh Oh, the only reason I could think of that they would be back at the box would be because the owlet didn’t make it. So I took a walk to the area where I had last seen the owls. Sure enough I found the little owl on the road by a curb. So I would chalk it up to an auto. A second possibility would be it was too weak to survive a wind and rain storm that had recently passed through but I think an auto would be the more likely cause. Now Gehlbach has a section on Renesting but this is with failed nests,1 with chicks, but not much on fledging failures, I don’t know if this would be considered a second brood? I am hoping that this pair may try to nest again as they are back in residence.

Warning Last Image is Graphic (click to view larger)

Just after the male took a pass at the squirrel

Hopefully a new beginning

poor little guy



  1. Very sad…but good for you to sleuth around and figure out its fate.

    So Scott, I have a nice picture a friend of mine took three nights ago of the the front of our retrofitted box with the female looking out. I would like to send it to you along with a screen shot from my Iphone of the TV screen showing the two owlets. I within a week I plan on climbing up and placing some sticky-backed sandpaper on the front of the box to make it less slick under the hole. We talked about this earlier and I am getting concerned now about the lack of friction for the owlets when they start spending time in the opening. This is uncharted territory to actually have some eggs hatch!

  2. I think they should be ok, most of the grip comes from with in the hole (thickness of wood) and the inside. Once they leave they don’t come back so the outside I think would just be an issue with the adults, and they don’t seem to mind. One of my sites has a bunch of rocks under the nest box, so at the time nears fledging they put a outdoor swing (long) cushion underneath just incase one falls. Just an idea if you haven’t made it up the ladder yet. congrats on the hatching!
    If you want sent the photos to I would love to see them.

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