Month: February 2013

Redundant Roadside Barred

This one my wife saw, but it was too close to where we saw the owl in the snow perched in the evergreen back on 1/28 to count in the competition so we are still tied, she got a quick pick with her phone, a very bright day for a barred owl to be out and about.

Abarred (1)

Look Who Showed up for my Birthday

Site 1.
Yesterday was my birthday, and the male spent the day in ‘his’ box! This is the first time he has been seen since last May. Interestingly, from this site, the first egg of the 2010 season was on my birthday as well. I guess he was just being secretive with his roosting local this winter. This should be the same female and male, so hopefully the first egg of the 2013 season is imminent or has already occurred. As the last three seasons she has laid eggs on or around the 3rd week in February.
As for documentation, I didn’t have my camera with me, only able to get a oldskool makeshift shot hand-held through binoculars. better than nothing.

A 2-22-13 update, figured I get a better photo, as he was in his box sunning himself.


2-26-13 update: She has not started incubating yet, spent much of the day in the entrance.

Status Quo after Storm

Site 1 and Site 3

In case you hadn’t heard we had a Blizzard, about 24 inches (61 cm) of snow fell, plus high winds. So afterwards was a good time to do a check of these two sites.
First, Site 1.
The red phase male has not been seen all year, so we may be looking at a single gray female here, we are less than a week away from when this particular female has historically laid her eggs, but unless there is a very secretive male around she may have to delay or cancel nesting this year. Also I have not had a chance to replace the cam that was so helpful in figuring out what was going on in the box. So it will just take time before the whole picture becomes more apparent. Also the Barred owl is still roosting less than 1/4 mile away and is seen quite consistently.

Female in the box

Barred owl first seen 11/20/2012 still around.

Site 3.

Unfortunately, It looks like this site was in transition, as the last time the red phase female was seen (by Phil Brown) was 11/24/12. To the best of my knowledge she has not been seen since. The male has dutifully occupying both the SQR type box and the ‘pole’ box. So hopefully he can find a female that will find one of the boxes suitable for a nest.

male in the SQR box

Blizzard Bluebirds and Owls

From Monday 2/11/13

The darker ‘chocolate’ colored Screech Owl has been seen regularly since it was first seen in September.
2012-11-09ScreechOwl (1)

The pale ‘white face’ owl (female?) showed up in early November and appeared with some regularity through mid-December. Although both owls were using the slot box, I never saw both owls at the same time; or during the same day. I’ve seen either ONE or the OTHER, as if they were taking turns in the box. This past weekend the darker owl appeared after a two week absence. It took refuge in the slot box during the height of the blizzard. On Sunday, however, the pale owl was in the box. I managed to get some photos yesterday.

2013-02-10WF-ScreechOwl (17)

And from Tuesday 2/12/13

Today a large flock of bluebirds ‘led the assault’ on the slot box, occupied by the pale ‘white face’ owl. The usual yard birds were also participating in the harassment, but the bluebirds were the most noticeable. Two or three at a time would swoop in toward the lip of the box and briefly hover there. I would estimate 20 -30 were here; the largest flock of bluebirds I’ve ever seen in our yard. I took a couple of pics but couldn’t capture them hovering in front of the owl box.

Thanks as always for the updates!!!

Evenly Matched

Well that didn’t take long,once again the challenge is all tied up.
This time it was after an afternoon birthday party, it was closing in on 5pm so what better time and conditions as it was mostly overcast, to take a quick trip down Stackyard rd. in Rowley. Last year, reports abounded from here with a few short-eared owls that were seen relatively consistently, I even got to see one. This year, not so much. Anyway, with the oh so brief short-eared sighting from last weekend in RI got me thinking it was worth the relatively short drive. A little less than than 1/2 down the road at 5:23pm, my wife says theres one in the tree. This gets me a little excited for a split second, thinking there might be a short-eared perched in a tree near the road. But it was very quickly Id’ed, what else a Barred Owl. Needless to say, no short-eareds to report.