Long-eared owls are generally thought of as being tough to find. Not so in the largest winter roost in the world. Kikinda town square…who knew? But facinating!
The red phase screech owl here has been quite the fixture, I believe it has only missed one day (the day after holloween) since he/she showed up Oct. 20th 2016. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come this spring. Anyway the pic is from 1/10/17. (Just a reminder this box is on the ‘new’ 4″x 4″ x 16′ pole set up.)
Well… last year I lost 5 points to 3 to my wife. That bitter taste lasted all summer long, so I was very focused and intensified my offseason training to do better this year. So far the intense training has given me the quick lead in this years owling challenge. Or perhaps she was distracted by collecting driftwood. Either way the first point was earned with a snowy owl at a local beach. It seems it may be the 4th winter in a row with at least better than average snowy owl sightings. So I am up 1 point to 0 early in the game.
Looks like another site has some owl activity. As we move into mid autumn and leaves leave the trees screech owls seek tree hollows. From the owner:
There have been hints that an owl (or owls) are nearby. This owl is the first I’ve seen in the new slot box that was put up just put up last week!
I had to replace this box because while squirrel resistant, they are not gnaw proof, and a squirrel had gnawed enough of the covering to gain access and thus needed to replaced…more on this soon in a separate post…anyway its nice to see the owl activity.
I try to keep this strictly as a log book of owl activity. But this is important enough to break from that idea. For lack of words I will keep it short and to the point. For the last 6-7 years I have been getting all the wood for these owl boxes from a family owned lumber mill from the small town I grew up in. This good family is in need of some help as they are thrusted into an unfathomable situation. If anyone is so inclined I though I might use this small blog to help a little by spreading the link. ugg.
There are some early indication that the winter of 2015-2016 could be yet another good ‘irruption’ year. Starting with the eastern seaboard record setting winter of 2013-2014. Last winter 2014-2015 was above average with snowy owls but sightings got tougher as the record snows came a the end of January. This year Wisconsin seems to be early snowy owl migration central. http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/snowy-owls-fly-south-for-the-fall-b99601193z1-335411881.html As this article attests. Who knows how this will translate along the eastern seaboard, as the irruption could be targeted in the great lakes region, but hopefully it will at least mean another above average year for the northeast.
This is the second year of successful nesting from clara in mass:
the update was sent to me in early june, so I was slacking in getting it up on the blog. Thanks for the update!!!!
Three baby’s were together in big tall pine down in the gully near tennis court like last year, another was in another pine they were all making noises two more heads popped down as I walked past the box one could have been the mom or even another one, battery gave out as I tried to get some pictures oh well got one good picture, see the two feathery bottoms and one looking at me… cool eyes. What a treat to have seen this little bit of life happening on a daily time line. Hope to find them in am and get some more pictures. Last year they moved to the woods near the back marsh you could hear them in the distance.
Fantastic site banding and migration monitoring, owls, diurnal raptors and songbirds:
Hawk Ridge Blog looks mainly active in the fall months. Follow the link to their main site for some statistics and more info as well.
Has a great photo with a side by side by side size comparison of saw-whet, long-eared and barred in this post
What appears to be an interesting link, with at 7 seven live streaming (ads first though)
cameras to screech owl boxes was added to my links section over to the right hand menus
Western Pennsylvania Screech Owl Project
First note comes from Atlanta GA,
I finally had the box installed this past weekend, in between the two winter storms that visited Atlanta; I had initially intended to do it myself, but I quickly found out that there was no way I could get up 20 feet on a ladder holding the box and fastening it to the tree. So I called a tree service and they did a fine job. I will keep you updated on future tenants!
Thanks for the update, looks like a well placed box and a tree service is an excellent idea for safe installation!
Second note comes from Brown Mills NJ,
I ordered a Screech Owl box from you a couple years ago. Up til today the only thing that has gotten in the box has been wasps to my knowledge. Up til today? Yep…a red Screech Owl has hopefully taken up residence and I couldn’t be more excited! It really made my day (week!) to see something in that slot when I looked this morning. I check it every day. As I said in the past, I’ve heard Screech Owls in the backyard and even saw one once but I certainly never thought one would grace my backyard in such a way.
I’m sending along a not so great picture. It was taken through the window at a good distance as I didn’t want to risk spooking the owl. As I type this, he’s sitting in the entrance watching what’s going on. It’s 5:25 and getting dark so I’m sure he’ll be hunting soon.
and a bit more follow up
Unfortunately we only saw it for 2 days. I can’t imagine where it went or what caused it to leave. I hope it will come back. It seemed quite content in there.
Thanks for the update, and hopefully it will be back soon!