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