Site 9

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 IS MUCH DARKER AND HAS A RED HUE TO HER- VERY SCARED TOO- SO FAR 2
DIFFERENT OWLS IN THE LAST FEW DAYS– we think? It is hard to tell LOLSONY DSC

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

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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!

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

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More Returns

Site 9

Unfortunately last year this site’s nesting attempt failed, but this is a fresh season, so optimism returns. And now not only is there an in the box camera, but a new external camera too.  From the owner:

Hi ,
A red male appeared this morning and then a darker reddish morph came in and is there now! It appears to possibly be the pair we had before the last immature pair! This pair had 3 owlets fledge! We will keep you updated as we now have an outside camera too!

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Nest Abandonment

Site 9

Unfortunately things sometimes go wrong in the wild. Such is the case at this site this year.  Four eggs were laid but it seems like the male was have trouble feeding the female enough food so she had to hunt for herself occasionally and eventually she must have given up on her brood and left altogether.

On March 24th

Unfortunately the female owl left her box in the afternoon and eventually came back after 7 pm. The male did not bring her food yesterday (and not much compared to the red male and the gray male ( different pair ) from the year before. This was the first time since Oct17 that she left her box and unfortunately she is not in the box this morning and we know with this cold the eggs will not survive. This may be a totally different pair or just a different male ( he is gray). We wanted to try and save the eggs but realize that this is nature! If we had an incubator lol! Today there is a food item in the box but compared to the attention and love that occurred between the last pair- these 2 never had a strong bond like the 2 other breeding pairs we had.

There has been some owl activity after this event, but nothing that would suggest a new nesting might occur just yet.  There is some hope as nesting season can run through April. And the ‘small eggs’ turned out to be acorns, and we did contact a local raptor rehabilitator she confirmed there is not much that can be done for ‘cold’ eggs and a specific wildlife permit would be needed to use an incubator with raptor eggs.

 

Getting Prepared

There is a general thought that last year’s tough and snowy winter was tough on the owl population. Luckily a few sites are still active which means some screech owls survived and hopefully this nesting season will be very productive for screech owls.

Anyway the end of the month (March) is prime nesting season and we have a great update from the owner of Site 9.

Owl Update
The female continues to be in her box every day. We have seen a male in the
box who scratches up the shavings and throws them around and deposited a
large vole. We have not seen them in the box together. This is weekend last
year is when they roosted together- so far we have not seen them together.
She has been vocalizing before she flies but not as much as last year. So we
will just have to wait and see if the same male returns or she finds another
mate?

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Great update, thank you very much!!!

More Owl Returns

Site 9

Note from owner:

She has settled in nicely and has been there everyday since Sunday October 18. On Sunday morning she was not in the box. Around 12 noon I saw something fly by and low and behold it was the female owl back in the slot in her box! This is the first time that I have ever seen the Owls fly in other than early in the morning. We have a resident Coopers Hawk who has been frequenting our bird feeder so this may be the reason she couldn’t get back in her box. When she flies out at around 6:10 pm she flies into our back wetlands and is vocalizing with another owl! We are looking forward to another fun owl season!

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2015 summary

Site 1
Massachusetts
No Nesting this year, female was seen last in april, male never seen after the snows of winter, a great horned and a barred owl were also near by but also seemed driven out by the deep snow pack of mid-late winter.
Screech Owls,
Male=red phased (seemed to disappear)
Female=gray phased
First Egg:
# of Eggs……………..
First Hatch:
# Hatched……………
Fledged ……………….

Site 2
Massachusetts
No screech owls…sporadic calling of barred owls through out year.

Site 3
Massachusetts
Screech Owls
Male=gray phased (confirmed 2011)
Female=gray phased (first seen 2013 nesting)
First Egg: early april
# of Eggs ………….unknown
# Hatched………… unkonwn
Fledged……………. at least 2 (early June 2015)

Male seen here near nest box a few weeks before fleging

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Site 4

Massachusetts
No screech owls

Site 5
Maryland successful nesting but details lacking
Screech Owls,
Male= ?
Female=red phased
First Egg ???
# of Eggs…………. ??
First Hatch ???
# Hatched ………… at least 2
Fledged ……………. at least 2

Site 6
Massachusetts
No screech owls, great horned owl(s) still heard occ.

Site 7
Massachusetts
no screech owls

Site 8
Massachusetts
Screech Owls, at least 2 which nested nearby
again in 2014 did not nest at site 8, but nested near by with 4 owlets observed to have fledge!
Male= Gray phased (browner)
Female=Gray phased
First Egg …………Early/mid April
# of Eggs………….at least 4
First Hatch…………Early/Mid May
# Hatched …………4
Fledged ……………. 4 (3 fledged June 10th, one shortly there after)

Site 9
Massachusetts
site 9 relocated 2014, Owl in Box with-in 3 days of installation (new record): after the 1rst year, a completely different pairing nested for 2015.
Screech Owls,
Male= Red phase (new for 2015)
Female= Gray phased (new for 2015
First Egg:…………….. 3/28/2015
# of Eggs…………….5
First Hatch: …………..4/30/2015
# Hatched…………….5
Fledged ……………….3

2014 Totals:
screech owl eggs ……11 + (massachusetts) 2+ Maryland
screech owl fledged…..10+ (massachusetts)
2+ Maryland.

Wrapping up Success, and Distress

Site 9

6/1/2015

From the owner

With all of the rain for the last 24 hours and more on the way- the mother owl returned to the box and was calling! We went out to see if the babies needed help and were in trouble and found 1 ( youngest baby we think) in a lower branch un protected from the rain and in distress! We put the ladder up to the box and then scaled up the little dead tree where the unprotected bay was! We pick it up – dried it off and placed it in the box with mom and they are so happy and the baby has perked up now
. They have been preening and cooing and the little one is safe for now . Searched for 2 hours and we could not find the other 2

stay tuned!

 

 

Got a bunch of photos, plus the observations from the owner, here is the wrap up from site 9

Eggs laid

3/28/15 – 1
3/31/15- 2
4/3/15– 3
4/5/15- 4
4//7/15-5

Hatched
1 egg did not hatch

4/30/15 – 2 egg hatched
5/2/15— 3 and 4
5/3/15- 5 th egg hatched

4th owlet died 5/4

Successful fledging 3 healthy owlets

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3 owlets near fledging

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male with owlet

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mom in tree near box as owlets are close to fledging

 

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First Egg

Site 9

This site has been busy and a bit confusing, as there has been what seems as a switcher-roo with owl couples. Last year the female was a red phase and the male was gray, this year the female is a gray phase and the male is red. There was also a period of time when it seem like the last year’s male was trying to hold on to the hollow, and perhaps this years pair usurped the box for themselves…Anyway I got a note today that the first egg has been laid! (Despite it snowing out!). Thanks you to the owner for all the observations!

From today (3/28/2015)

Hi.we have an egg from our gray brown female. The male brought a.mouse to her and tried to feed her.the red male brought in 3 mice yesterday. Box is full

(photo from 3/20)
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Good news is there seems to be plenty of eats around for the owls, as the snow pack is still around but slowly disappearing

(3/26/2015)

Hi
Our new red male is quite the hunter. He does something unusual as he takes
his prey and brings it out in the slot and hangs out there with it. The owls
we had last year never did this – but he takes it out of the box ( after he
placed it in the box during the evening). Yesterday we had a chipmunk, a
very large rat and a mouse. This morning there was another mouse. I suspect
we will have eggs in a week or two as they are storing up their reserves
now. They have been spending a lot of time together and then they take
breaks but always return to nest together a few times per week SONY DSC

(2/25/2015)

We changed our red.infea red LEDs to non glow.white and now.the owls have different colors.we have a red owl this am.not sure if it is our original female or what. We have the other owl that we thought was a female maybe the morph is the male? The whitish owl is now a red one! See if you can decide on sizes I20150225_121128_resized

Female Change?

Site 9

There appears to be a change of owls here. The red phase female was seen earlier in the fall but it seem that she may be gone and replaced with a gray(ish) phase one.

From 12/21/2014

Hi I am having trouble deciding who this is as the owl is on the brown side,
not red and this is the one I have been seeing a lot of? It behaves like our
female from last year but in all light it seems brownish

From 12/27/2014 We confirmed today that it is a morph female and the gray male was here yesterday-took pictures and compared them- sad our red female is gone

Male
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New Female?
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