Wednesday, February 18, 2015

This owl enjoys the sun on a winter day

The Eastern Screech Owl is still in its box.  It's of note to me that these owls nest in cavities, but they never dig the cavities themselves. They generally nest in cavities in  trees made by woodpeckers, or perhaps holes caused by rotten wood falling out of the tree. Inside the next, these owls do not build a nest, but lay their eggs on the bottom of the nest hole.

This week I managed to capture several pictures of the owl sunning itself.  I noticed that the owl does not come out to enjoy the sun at the same time every day, but at various times. The length of time it suns also varies from day to day.

I also captured a picture of the owl returning to its nest one night, presumably after a hunt. I wonder if it was successful?

Below is a typical sequence of the owl coming out to enjoy the sun. The hole in the box faces south.

And here is the view of the owl returning to its nest. This particular view of a bird is usually called the "vent view" by birders. 

Don't forget to go outside and play.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

This one's for the birds

So, there is an owl box, designed primarily for Eastern Screech-Owls at Cromwell Valley Park. It's been in place for several years.

The volunteers who take care of various bird boxes wondered if it is still in use, or if perhaps it should be removed. They asked me to see what might be found with my game camera.

Exciting news. 

There is a Eastern Screech-Owl still living in the box. This one appears to be a red phase--that is about the same color as a fox. About a third of the owls are red phase.

The owl in the videos below is sunning itself. The nest faces south, and it's common for the birds to soak up the sun, especially on cool or cold days.

And there's a bonus video of what I think is a Blue Jay flying onto the owl's box. That makes me wonder what the jay and the owl are thinking. Do they care how close they are to each other?

This could be a fun spring.  This owl is probably thinking of the upcoming breeding season which will be upon us soon. And I'm thinking of capturing what I can with the camera.

Enjoy the videos.

Go outside and play.