Hopefully things are still going well here, as I received this update, albeit 2 weeks ago on
Yipppeeeee! TWO OWLS today!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has been over a month [March 25] since I’ve seen the pale, white-faced Screech Owl, but she’s visible in the slot box right NOW! And the dark male was visible in the same box at 6 this morning. We still have a pair and now I wonder if she’s been brooding on a nest in the slot box.
During this month, however, I have occasionally seen another, darker owl, in the slot box. It has been impossible for me to document the differences, because neither camera is working properly. In any case, this interloper is darker and grayer than either of the “regular” owls. It has less contrast in the plumage, so it appears to be a smudge of color in dim light; whereas the ‘regulars’ show contrast between light and dark feathering and they stand out more in dim light.
if all is well hopefully I can find some time to get some pics, (sorry to hear about your cameras!)
As always, thank you for the update!
This marks the second year here with un-successful nesting. Last year they did fledge one young, that was found dead road side a few days later. This year well it got worse, for a warning the last image is a bit gruesome. All seemed to be going similar, and I was expecting to start seeing owlets popping up in the entrance of the box soon. BUT today I located both the male and the female in ‘The’ crab apple with out any owlets…This couldn’t be good. usually I can follow the family to the the crab apple and it takes them a few days to get through the yews, to the crab apple…I thought she might have had infertile eggs, as she had 4 of them last year. So after work I opened the box and found at least 2 dead owlets, with advanced feathers…it was gross, I don’t know how long, it seemed not real recent but because of development of the owlets it had to be fairly recent. Just a big old failure. Didn’t look like predation. Parisites? Starvation? Who knows. Such is working with with life. Anyway here are some photos the last is the material after I cleaned out the box and brought the stuff to the ground
male from a couple days ago when it seemed all was well
male from today
female from today
what are you both here for something must be wrong.
oh boy, wrong is right! cleaned out the box, WARNING graphic.
But I DO have some more hopeful news from Site 8, update soon!
If previous years are any indication, as the owlets grow, and the weather warms, the male spends its day out side of the box and roost in the near-by evergreens (large yew, atlantic red cedar). The challenge is finding Him, So far this year is shaping similar to previous except egg laying most likely was 2-3 weeks later than other years(which were unusually early for Screech owls in Mass)…usually the owlet(s) fledge the 3 week in April, and to date still awaiting confirmation that fledging should be mid May.
male in atlantic red cedar
male in large yew near nest box