Month: March 2014

Pairing Up

Site 8

Update from the owner

At about 6:10 the red owl arrived in the yard. It perched in two different spots. Then it entered the slot box. It dropped out of sight and reappeared. The red owl then flew to a perch opposite the round hole box. It soon returned to the slot box which had a grey owl perched in the entrance. Both owls were briefly together at the entrance of the slot box. The grey dropped inside first, followed by the red. All this took place within a span of about 5 minutes. I will let you know it the owls reappear or have left while I ‘ve been writing this to you….

(later pm)
I was afraid the pair might have skeedadled while I was writing the email this morning, because they had disappeared. The red owl reappeared later on, but I couldn’t account for the gray until now when the pair came up to sun themselves. This is the first time I’ve seen two owls side-by-side in the same box! The last time I had side-by-side owls was during the last years of our apple tree, about 14 years ago.

2014-03-27 Pair Owls (6)

Excellent update! thanks!

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Out with the Barred, In with the Great Horned

Site 1

I haven’t seen the pair of barred owl that were near by in over a month. My thinking was that they decided to head back to a better breeding territory. Today when checking one of the frequently used (previously) roost, voila an owl, but it became quickly apparent that it wasn’t a barred, it was a great horned, in the exact spot a (the first) barred had used for the first 2/3 of winter. However, it decided to flush the moment I stopped walking (I was on a sidewalk). The crows had a field day, and the owl imbedded itself into a nearby white cedar. Lots of danger and competition for the near by screech owls around every corner! Who knows if it will stick around.

great horned seeking cover.
P1010099

Nesting Elsewhere?

Site 1.

A bit of a change here for the last week, all winter including late the female (gray) was very regular in the slot entrance box. At the end of February there were lots of mice being stored with her in the box. Then a few days into March, she stopped coming in to this box, and slowly the mice storage stopped as well. Now the Male (red) is a regular. So does this mean she decided ‘last minute’ to nest elsewhere? Currently I am leaning that direction. Last years failed nesting attempt maybe had her consider her other options. In the past she has laid eggs 2nd-3rd week in February. Last year (that failed) I estimated the egg laying +/- March 17th. So given her history, and this years seemingly abundant prey, based on the food that was stored…upto 4-5 mice at a time…it would be right on schedule if she was incubating now.
The good news, is that the male is using the box, which would seem to indicate the alternative cavity should be close by. There are a couple of options, one is ‘his’ box about 150 feet away, while I have never seen her in this box, it is a potential option. The other is a new (as of last summer) flicker cavity. Or perhaps a yet to be discovered place.
There is a chance she disappeared, but hopefully she just relocated.
Stay tuned!

For the last week,
only the male has been in the box that has previously been used as a nest

P1010081

Just a Pair of Hawks

Site 2

What is nice, was that it was a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks, They may have been just passing through, but hopefully they will stick around. No Screech owls, but some activity to summarize since its been a long time since a update here. Barred owls were around all summer and fall and heard almost daily even during the day. But since the cold weather has moved in, its been tough to say if they are still around since its harder to hear them.
Also the leucistic hawk was seen briefly a couple times in January 2014. So brief though that no photo documentation was taken.

P1040921