As the Winter Turns

Site 9

Sorry for being negligent on this site, but there has been quite a bit of drama here. So I will try to catch everyone up to this seasons story here. All quotes are from the owner.

Back on November 4th 2016.

Hi Everyone

This owl was regular through november, unfortunately in early Dec. 2016 a bit of a disturbance:

Hi ,
We had a bit of drama here as the camera was hanging down in the box on Monday somehow was knocked off the bracket. I climbed up and tried to use a mirror to see if the owl could be in there but I couldn’t see anything! So I unplugged the camera and I tried to Unscrew the bracket but I could get leverage so I carefully opened the front and then I realized the owl was sleeping in the front corner. I quickly and quietly closed the front and we left until we watched her fly out at night and then put a new bracket up and extended the threads on the screws so it would fall down again. She hasn’t been back since – she does miss 4 or 5 days here and there but I am worried.

It wasn’t until January, that another different owl returned, first seen at during the night visiting via a box camera:

We have a male red owl that came to the box at 2:20 am and stayed! I played the videos of the owl songs I have last night for 20 minutes! Maybe it worked ! It is a brilliant red male and spectacular looking! I was able to get a couple of pictures from outside too but I am no sure of the quality because I didn’t want to take a chance to scare him away

Happy MLK Day


Then on Jan 30th.

Looks like the gray owl is back and maybe they will mate! We were happy just having one red owl in the box! Now there is a lot of activity tonight! Exciting times are here!

But by Feb. 28.

Hi Everyone
Here is the latest update on the owls. It appears that something must have
happened to the red female . The gray male comes every evening and calls for
its mate (or someone new). The gray owl comes every night and scratches up
the nesting material and then calls for about a 1/2 hour. I thought I heard
an owl answer but mostly I hear no response. We are hoping that someone else
will come and join the poor little lonely gray male. Mating season is just
beginning so maybe he can lure another female in the box. He is adorable
and covers himself with shavings.

Which brings us to the current status:

An owl came to the box last night and is in there this morning!  There has been a lot of night time activity in the box with a gray male visiting and calling for hours. We also hear so many owls vocalizing all around our property! I am going to review the SD card as it is full of a visits from last night and will update everyone. We are hoping the sad male found someone new!


Phew, happy to get caught up here–thank you for all the updates, and staying tuned!



  1. What does it mean when the male scratches up the nest material and then calls from the entrance? I had a pair of Sawwhet owls nesting in a box I had installed. Sadly, the female laid 3 eggs and abandoned the nest. I had a camera inside and outside to record activity. The last activity from the female showed her LEAVING the nest with a mouse! I thought that was interesting. Next, the male shows up, frantickly scraping the nest cavity and scattering the eggs! Then he sat in the opening of the nestbox calling and calling…..the female never returned. Was it a rival male? (I forgot to mention, before this started there was one recording that showed a male attempting to deliver a mouse and the female was reaching out the doorway and acting aggressive toward him, an intruder maybe?

    1. sorry it took me a year to respond… awesome to hear about the saw-whets. I can’t really answer definitely. Usually a male scratching up a hollow is making it presentable for the female. But sometimes the female takes off after a failed nesting attempt. It could have been sterile eggs and female leaving the male, and the male trying his best to get her to return…I wish I spoke owl better. hopefully this season is going better.

  2. I love your comments. Unfortunately I did not get my old box out this year… But did put it out March 2… I have seen nothing going in and out of it yet. Maybe a flicker will like it later

  3. I put my owl box up in January. It is now April 2. Still no visitors. I know this can take awhile. I live in the north east in NY city, Staten Island . I’m wondering can you give me any insight on owl calls? I have bird calls on my iPad and want to use them to call in owls. I have tried it in the past and it seems to have worked! I got an answer back! I just don’t want to more harm than good, possibly an owl falsely thinking there is a rival male in the area? Do you use the whinny or the trill to call them in? Do you know what each call is for? When should I expect to possibly hear/see screech owls coming in to look for nest sights? I think it is time now. Thank you for all input it is appreciated!

    1. Owl calls may let you know if there are owls in the area, but from my experience owl calls do not help them like a box. This time of year, if there are owls around but they are not using the box, they most likely have a suitable nesting hollow elsewhere…and it would just hear the sound as an intruder. It already is prime egg laying time in the northeast.

  4. Hi, I wanted to know if you have any recommendations for a camera that I can mount inside the box. Thank you!

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