I have a bit of a back log of updates hopefully over the next couple weeks I’ll be able to get up to date as we get close to nesting season…so I will start these from the owner of Site 8,
From Jan 16th
Last night I was lucky enough to see the red owl leave the slot box at about 4:55 pm. It was getting pretty dark by then, but I was able to track its flight to a tree on the edge of our yard. Almost immediately afterwards I saw a second owl fly in from the direction of the grey owl’s tree hollow. It met the red owl and although their silhouettes were partially blocked by a tree, it was apparent the two owls copulated! I moved to a window closer to the activity and I could still see the silhouettes of both owls.
I was able to confirm that the red owl is the female and the grey owl the male. Both owls lingered on their respective perches for nearly ten minutes before they flew off.
From Feb 11th
I haven’t seen the red female and the grey male together since our trip to NYC on Jan 24th to 26th. For the past two weeks only the red owl has been seen regularly in our yard, usually in the slot box at sunrise. On a few occasions the slot box has appeared to be vacant all day; only to see an owl appear at about sunset or even a little later. In the dimming light of dusk I cannot say for sure whether the owl was the red or the grey or even a new individual. The tree hollow used by the grey male is filled with snow, so I can no longer see two owls simultaneously.
Today the red female came to the slot box at dawn and was present at sunset. I checked a couple of times to see if she was still in the box as it got darker. By about 5:30 she had left the box. At about 5:39 I scanned the yard (looking west) to see if I could spot her silhouette. I spotted her in a short time and almost immediately a second owl swooped and copulated with her! I assume the first owl was the red female, but I could not identify the second owl, which flew off as quickly as it arrived. I got a second glance of it as it flew toward and over my vantage point at the door to our back deck. The female remained on her perch for a moment and then flew off. An owl appeared in the slot box. Seconds later an owl was following the same route toward me and over the house. It was too dark to see color, but the incident confirms a pair of owls are active in the neighborhood even though only one of them has been seen during the past two weeks.
From Feb 24th
Last night my wife and I watched the red female until she left the slot box at about 5:45pm. She perched in the crabapple tree for about 10 minutes until a second owl flew in from the west. After a short pause, the female flew across our yard and landed near the second owl. THIS OWL quickly flew over and copulated with the female. After that the female returned to the slot box and we lost sight of the male in the darkness. The red female very rarely returns to the slot box after leaving it at dusk; so something was different. This morning I watched an owl emerge from the round box to perch in the crabapple tree for about 5 minutes and then it flew into the slot box at about 6 am. In that light, the owl seemed different and as the light improved the owl is grey! Since the light was good I took 3 sets of photos to commemorate the event! Then … Surprise, SURPRISE the female appeared!
Thank for the updates, what a great shot of the pair!