Yesterday (10-28-13) an owl made its first stay during the day. It had been motion captured both nights over the weekend (between 4-5 am) but did not stay the day. It appears to be the red phased male from previous years. This is the first time that the gray female has not appeared first since 2007, so I am thinking she has passed on. I went out to take a quick documentation photo, when an immature red-tailed hawk did a low flyby over the box. It was just passing through, but certainly got the owls attention!
resting in the early am sun.
flyby hawk got his attention.
10/31/2013 UPDATE: I was wrong, they just like to keep me guessing! The gray phase female appeared yesterday, and today: cool note: if this female is the same, she has been seen since almost to the date since 2007!
from last year, look likes the same owl
I got this report from the owner of site 8 on the 22nd of October.
1st Owl of the season – a very pale gray morph in the slot box! Visible when I arrived at 8:40 this morning until mobbed by yard birds a few minutes ago. This could be the same “pale” owl seen previously, but I can’t verify the field marks.
an owl was there again on the 24th, and Today. I was able to swing by today and yep there was an owl in the entrance. Consistent with years past, site’s 1,3 and 8 remain the most active so far this season. Although, I don’t know if it’s the same owl as the 22nd. but it does appear that is one of the gray pair that has been here before. The other of the pair has bolder white eyebrows.
A bit more analysis from the owner from 10-28-13
Since this pic was taken in the early afternoon, the owl is shaded by the roof of the box. When I first saw the owl on Tuesday, it was flooded with morning sunlight. In that bright light it appeared to be much whiter and there was less contrast between the light and dark feathers of the facial disks. There are some discrepancies between my initial impressions on 10/22 and the owl’s appearance in the photo on 10/27. Even so, those differences in appearance can be attributed to the dramatic change from an owl seen through binoculars in full sun light, to the details captured in the photo of an owl roosting in shade.
Well good news, which is needed at this site, which ended the breeding season in failure. First I finally got around to installing another box camera to replace the one the broke during Irene in 2011. . The better news, is that the (freeware) streaming program has a motion capture setting. Now, this has been the latest, since this site has been monitored, that an owl has not shown up during the day in the box. After last season, I was beginning to think the owl pair has moved on. Maybe they have. But…at 4:38am this morning there was a capture of an owl, it stayed for a couple minutes and then left. Who know if this is a new recruit or the old guard but it’s nice to know an owl is around!
This is the best one of the captures from 4:40am
Is first to get an owl in a box, the pole box, but this is a new owl. A striking red phase.
For a brief history of this site, the first owl to show up was a female red phase back in oct 2009, the first time a male was seen it was a gray phase. Last year she disappeared and a female gray phased showed up with the gray phase male and had a successful nest. Now a new red phase owl shows up today, that is distinctly different from the first red phased female. So this season starts with a bit of twist. Is this just an intruder soon to be ousted by the gray pair? Or has there been more owl turn-over here? In any case certainly seem to be an owly neighborhood!
Oh a box cam has been added to the pole box, as well as the old SQR box cam still works, so both can be monitored.
view from the new cam. Just installed a couple days ago Saturday.(sorry about the cord)
Here is the new red phased owl, quite a red individual. I notice the lack of contrasting forehead streaks.
Compared to the past female, photo was taken just about a year ago