Update from the owner: another great composite.
Here is a composite photo of the owls seen in the slot box. There is a strong resemblance to the pair that mated last year. I have seen the ‘male’ more frequently than the ‘white-face’ ‘female’. However I have heard the ‘male’ calling at dawn, which suggests to me that the ‘female’ isn’t very far away. In fact I believe I have heard two owls calling, but couldn’t confirm the source of the second sound.
Based on location, when I first saw the owl I would have swore it was a great horned owl. The lighting wasn’t great and it was ~ 150 ft away. It was at Appleton Farms (link to trail map). Alas, it was just another somewhat strange location for a Barred owl, much more prototypical Great Horned habitat/roosting area. Its not unusual to find Barred owls in the grass rides section of the property, but this was a bit removed from the forest/swamp section (lighter green on the map). It was roosting in a relatively loose stand of mostly white pine surrounded by fields/pasture, on the right of the trail that is a little over half way between pigeon hill and the private residence to the NW on goodhue st. At the top of the ‘great pasture’. If it weren’t for the photo I might still think I saw a great horned…as I didn’t have any binoculars with.normally I don’t advertise specific roosting locations of owls, but since this is area that is fenced of with electric livestock fencing, there are no encroachment issues.
Took a walk on my lunch break to find another barred owl…local listserves are buzzing about the seeming prevalence of barred owls this year, this actually is only about 1/4 of a mile from Site 1 and its not the first time there has been a barred owl there (march 2011) but its another coastal woodlot that wouldn’t normally be considered prime barred habitat. Also found this roadside pick up of a screech owl on my way home…first I know of in this location. Which of course is its own reward. In Beverly/Beverlyfarms MA.
There has been some activity in the camera box at this site lately, I came by at dusk nov.9 and despite the poor quality/poor viewing, it looked like the it was a gray phased that was in the box. Which should be the male. (unless there has been some turnover with owls). This is the first the male has been seen this year here as well. Nov 17. also appeared to be a gray phase in the box, this time documented with the box cam. There still some room for doubt, but it looks to be the gray phase, especially compared to last years screen grab of the female (red phase).
November 9, 2012
November 17, 2012
Compared to last years female screen grab february despite the different exposure and tint with the photos, things like contrast between wood chips and owl, seem to indicate the above would be gray phased.
Took a family tromp through some trails at Crane’s Beach in Ipswich MA, my wife first saw what we thought was an owl fly off but wasn’t close and it was through some barrier beach woods/pitch pine groves. I just saw a brief figure and shadow moving off in the distance. The trail we were on did a loop in the direction of where it was headed. We made our way around, and sure enough she found it roosting in a pitch pine which I had walked right by. Its always nice to have extra pairs of eyes. Anyway this isn’t typical Barred owl habitat, but as their population has been seemingly increasing they have been turning up these barrier island type woodlots with more frequency, especially fall and winter. With recent reported sightings from Plum Island and Salisbury Beach, now Cranes Beach.
Barred Site 2
a short but sweet message with an attached phone photo
Owl in CT, near owl house
Unlike screech owls, barred owls seldom use cavities to roost in, and so if they use it, it will won’t be until nesting season March-June time frame, but they are still in the area. So hopefully plenty of time for them to check the box out and get acclimated to it.
Still a very consistent site. An owl has been back since Nov. 1. and has been seen a few times since. Also got a pic sent my way as well. Although the its not a close up of an owl its a nice pulled back look at the box and the immediate surrounding environment, and yes there is an owl face in the hole. Its actually one of the more difficult boxes to maintain, as its on a hill but the owls like it so it works.
Recent update from the owner of site 8.
I have seen this screech owl regularly since its arrival on Sept. 25th. Usually it is only briefly visible when it returns to the box at dawn. Sometimes it reappears in the afternoon. On Election Day, however, I was amazed to see it watching R.A. landscaping clean up our yard with their loud leaf blowers & roaring leaf vacuum! Since this owl wasn’t bothered by the noise, I stepped out on the deck and a pic. with the Nikon Coolpix – zoomed in, of course. It is an awkward image because the sun was reflecting off the left side of the box. I had to ‘fix’ that problem to improve the image. Also want to add that owl has been calling after its return to the box before sunrise. I’ve heard it twice within the past few days.