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!



    1. short answer yes, peak egg laying for screech owls here in mass seems to be mid march- mid april. but a bit earlier or later for any given pair is always a possibility.

  1. It may be the start of mating season, but I don’t know if it’s too early for nesting. Both owls were roosting side-by-side for most of Thursday afternoon. They both left the box at twilight; which suggests there isn’t a nest, yet. The grey owl returned Friday and again this morning (Saturday), but I haven’t seen the red owl since Thursday. The grey owl roosted at the entrance of the box for quite a while yesterday and it is visible again today; which indicates that the grey owl isn’t brooding on a nest. It is possible that the red owl is a female and is on a nest in the box, but I think it would show itself at some point during the day.
    NOTE TO SCOTT: why didn’t you post the pic with the chickadee buzzing the owls?

  2. no sign of the red owl this morning at dawn. BUT … the grey owl emerged from the round hole box and flew to the slot box before sunrise, MAYBE something is going on in the round box? Could the red owl be brooding on a nest and the grey owl brought her food?

  3. Quite possible. Dusk and Dawn are the best times to check for the female as once incubating only takes brief breaks and doesn’t spend much time in the entrances at all.

  4. i was up before six to monitor the activity in our yard. nothing was happening so i checked the other nearby boxes and a grey owl was roosting in the opening. I left briefly to get my small telescope and returned in time to see a reddish owl arrive in front of their boxes. It happened quickly, so i don’t know which box it flew into. I can only see the side of their second box

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