So it seems the Red phase that showed up briefly back in October was just passing through, likely got driven out of the resident pair of gray phase owls. These are tough to get a handle on, but I am almost sure that I have seen both the male and the female through the winter. This pair seems exceptionally shy as they are tough to get documentation. Luckily my wife got one of what appears to be the same female as last year.
I installed a box in Rockport MA, Sunday (2/23/14) around 2:00pm. On Wednesday around 5:00 pm I got a call that said they had an screech owl already! Figure the owl arrived early morning on Wednesday, thats less than 72 hours after box installation. That beats out the old record of 12 days by 9 days. Quite extraordinary and certainly not expected, as sometimes it takes years (if at all) to get a screech owl resident. Now to make it even more remarkable, Thursday (today) a pair of owls spent the day in the box! If they all could be this easy!
if you look closely a red phase to the right and a grey phase a bit recessed in the shadow to the left.
First note comes from Atlanta GA,
I finally had the box installed this past weekend, in between the two winter storms that visited Atlanta; I had initially intended to do it myself, but I quickly found out that there was no way I could get up 20 feet on a ladder holding the box and fastening it to the tree. So I called a tree service and they did a fine job. I will keep you updated on future tenants!
Thanks for the update, looks like a well placed box and a tree service is an excellent idea for safe installation!
Second note comes from Brown Mills NJ,
I ordered a Screech Owl box from you a couple years ago. Up til today the only thing that has gotten in the box has been wasps to my knowledge. Up til today? Yep…a red Screech Owl has hopefully taken up residence and I couldn’t be more excited! It really made my day (week!) to see something in that slot when I looked this morning. I check it every day. As I said in the past, I’ve heard Screech Owls in the backyard and even saw one once but I certainly never thought one would grace my backyard in such a way.
I’m sending along a not so great picture. It was taken through the window at a good distance as I didn’t want to risk spooking the owl. As I type this, he’s sitting in the entrance watching what’s going on. It’s 5:25 and getting dark so I’m sure he’ll be hunting soon.
and a bit more follow up
Unfortunately we only saw it for 2 days. I can’t imagine where it went or what caused it to leave. I hope it will come back. It seemed quite content in there.
Thanks for the update, and hopefully it will be back soon!
A quick check of the cam here, and what appears to be the gray female taking a ‘mid morning'(for an owl) snooze. Nothing too exciting about that, but upon closer inspection…Even better she has cached a mouse with her. Despite quite a few snow storms, including an afternoon 4 inches today, she is able to get some rest and have a meal for later.
An 8:53 time stamp tonight. see the mouse from the bottom of the screen, the eyes are reflecting, tail near the owl wing.