Just Recently (3-9-13) a new owl, presumably a female has shown up.
So R.I.P ruf-ette, as the owner of site 3 named her. She fledged 14 owlets over the last 3 seasons.
So now a new gray female is present (a major benefit of pairing boxes with like color morph owl pairs)
Kinda bitter sweet.
photos were taken on different days but they have been both seen at once.
presumed new female, notice a bit lighter disk, upto ear tuffs, and around beak?
looks similar to other photos of the male from previous years/earlier this year.
ruf-ette, taken in october 2012, but something happened to her.
Like last year, the male has started to hang out in the entrance of what should be the nest box, the female was seen as recently as Feb 26, where she spent much of the the time in the entrance, meaning she wasn’t incubating yet. So the the male showing up here may indicate that she is now incubating. He was first seen in the entrance, March 1, and was seen again today, March 3. If so, that would put fledging around the end of April/Early May
Site 1 and Site 3
In case you hadn’t heard we had a Blizzard, about 24 inches (61 cm) of snow fell, plus high winds. So afterwards was a good time to do a check of these two sites.
First, Site 1.
The red phase male has not been seen all year, so we may be looking at a single gray female here, we are less than a week away from when this particular female has historically laid her eggs, but unless there is a very secretive male around she may have to delay or cancel nesting this year. Also I have not had a chance to replace the cam that was so helpful in figuring out what was going on in the box. So it will just take time before the whole picture becomes more apparent. Also the Barred owl is still roosting less than 1/4 mile away and is seen quite consistently.
Female in the box
Barred owl first seen 11/20/2012 still around.
Unfortunately, It looks like this site was in transition, as the last time the red phase female was seen (by Phil Brown) was 11/24/12. To the best of my knowledge she has not been seen since. The male has dutifully occupying both the SQR type box and the ‘pole’ box. So hopefully he can find a female that will find one of the boxes suitable for a nest.
male in the SQR box
Well that didn’t take long,once again the challenge is all tied up.
This time it was after an afternoon birthday party, it was closing in on 5pm so what better time and conditions as it was mostly overcast, to take a quick trip down Stackyard rd. in Rowley. Last year, reports abounded from here with a few short-eared owls that were seen relatively consistently, I even got to see one. This year, not so much. Anyway, with the oh so brief short-eared sighting from last weekend in RI got me thinking it was worth the relatively short drive. A little less than than 1/2 down the road at 5:23pm, my wife says theres one in the tree. This gets me a little excited for a split second, thinking there might be a short-eared perched in a tree near the road. But it was very quickly Id’ed, what else a Barred Owl. Needless to say, no short-eareds to report.
The past two days has really confused our point system with our (me and my wife) competition.
Yesterday,we had a get together down in RI to go too, but that would be ending before 3pm. So through a little online research found a nice little place to walk around with some evergreen stands that had long-eared potential, Ninigret wildlife refuge, that we could do a family walk afterwards before we headed home. Anyway as we were driving down the highway to the event, along with the usual road side red tailed hawks, my wife announces “barred owl” as we zoomed by it, no one else could confirm it. After the event as we were ending our family walk of ninigret (it didn’t disappoint as far as its potential but alas no long-eareds to be found but…) I announced “short-eared” but it was up ahead and flew by an area blocked by a little lot of trees,so no one else got to see it either. So we decide these two cancel each other out. and unfortunately no pics…which brings us to today, a walk around the inner trails Cranes Beach, and I quickly spotted a Barred owl hunting above the dunes
(time to update the bird books?), it didn’t take to long before the family objection was announced that this was probably the same owl that was here the last time we were here. They had a point as it was only a couple hundred yards from where we saw the one back in November. No Point For Me! Well… until we were driving on the way home, I got this nice obliging barred along the road side that we all got to watch for a while as the snow was falling.
This barred owl has been hanging out at least since Nov. 20. probably since October. Its been roosting here and there, the last roost was used fairly consistently for a couple weeks. Then it seems to have switched things up a little over a week ago. So I have found myself scanning, trying to find it in this wood lot, sort of like owl roost sighting practice. Was able to successfully find it in a new roost.
also for the site update, the male screech owl has still not been seen on site here this season, which is quite unusual. The female still is in the nest/slot box frequently, so she may be available now.
Not one to give up, my wife took our kids out in the afternoon to look for the barred owl we flushed yesterday. Now we weren’t 100% sure it was a barred, just based on the clues and the limited looks flying through the woods near dusk, it was about 95%. But the 5% uncertainty was enough for a second visit. Anyway I got a call, she excitedly taunted me that she and the kids had found it, while I was at work. So after work they all showed me where it was, except it wasn’t there in the exact tree, but it was close by, and it looked like it was doing some evening hunting.
So its nice to confirm it was in fact a barred as it was in the same location as yesterday.
Not often you have 6+ bald eagles with-in 10 minutes of our house, so an easy time to take a look at them. they were still ~200 yards away on a mostly frozen Wenham Lake (they were first reported Jan 4th 2013) and even appeared in some local papers, before we had the time to look for them, but had fun watching for awhile on cedar st. with a couple of other people. A total of 6 were seen at any one time, but I think there has been reports of more.
and its becoming an family owl challenge as my daughter gets a point for following a flushed barred owl, and my son get a point for first hearing a pair of duetting great horned owls both at appleton farms yesterday afternoon/evenings on a family walk.
The barred owl looks to be setting up for the winter. This is the 2nd time I have seen it since november. It tends to roost about 1/4 mile away from the screech owl box, which isn’t much for birds. Barred’s eat screech owls so its ‘worrisome’ and fun having it in the same general area. The screech owls nested just fine in 2010/2011 when a (the same?) barred owl was present in the same local.
shows how well they can blend in.
The female has been fairly consistent in ‘her’ box, that has been used as a nest the past 3 years. Last year the male was first seen end of november/early december time frame. Last year he was flushed from ‘his’ box (circle entrance SQR style about 150 feet from slot SQR type used as nest) twice in the first couple weeks of january by landscaping/brush clean up. After the first disturbance he returned the next day, after the second he only spent time (when he was seen in a box) in ‘her’ box and spent much of nesting season in the entrance to the nest. He may have crossed ‘his’ box off the list of comfortable hollows so to speak, or there will be some turnover, or maybe just is else where in a comfortable natural hollow near by and just wait a bit and he will use his box later. But to this point in time he has not been seen since last spring.
Female sunning herself friday 12-14-12