Jim Podsiadlo,bird carver,screech owls

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March 2004

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Nesting News

03/01/04 - Female entered the right box around 5:45am. No cache observed. Left around 6pm after sitting in entrance for about 30minutes.

03/02/04 - Rhedd entered the right box around 5am and Scarlett joined him around 5:45am. They 'talked' briefly before Rhedd jumped up in the entrance hole. He only spent a minute or two there before flying to the left box to spend the day. They communicated occasionally during the day with monotonic trills. We have stereo audio on the 'owl channels' so no matter which video feed we watch the left channel is the left box audio and vice versa. Rhedd sunned himself for a couple of hours this afternoon and both owls left around 6pm. It was a balmy 65 degrees F. today. It's supposed to be warm all week but this won't last, it's only early March.

03/03/04 - Today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday. Both owls were in the right box around 5:45am, then the male flew to the left box for the day. He spent a few hours sunning himself in the entrance hole. Both owls flew around 6pm. Temperature was in the mid 50's today. Scarlett entered the right box briefly around 8:45pm and seemed to test the structure of the box by pecking at the walls, then left after only a few minutes.

03/04/04 - The owls continue to occupy both boxes. They entered around 5:45am. Scarlett has cached a small rodent and didn't consume it right away. Rhedd was in his entrance hole from 4:30 to 6pm when they both flew.

03/07/04 - The female is still in the right box but the male was absent today. She called him on and off during the day so he was most likely nearby. We searched for him but were unable to locate him. Scarlett entered around 5:50am, called from the entrance at 6:00pm, and flew around 6:10pm

03/08/04 - Both owls were back in the boxes again today, entering before 6am. They were very vocal today, especially the female. The male sat in the entrance hole from 4pm to around 6pm when he flew. She followed about 10 minutes later. Around 9pm she entered the left box and let out a loud escalating pitch single note. She watched the hole for a few minutes then sat in the entrance for about 15 minutes before flying into the right box around 9:15pm. At 10:55pm the male responded to her calls and briefly peeked in to see what was up.

03/09/04 - The female left around 3am and re-entered at 5:44am. She was persistently calling her mate this morning. He went to the left box first but finally gave in and joined her in the right box briefly. After a bit of a squabble he jumped up on the entrance of the right box and she kept poking at him until he finally flew back to the left box for the day. Both owls communicated during the day and the male again sat in his entrance from 4pm to 6pm. Both owls flew around 6:05pm and the female briefly entered the left box around 8:30pm then settled in to her usual right box for the night.

03/11/04 - It started out as a normal day with the male in the left box and the female in the right. At around 9am a qrey squirrel entered the left box and evicted the male owl which flew into the right box. About 15 minutes later the same squirrel entered the right box and evicted both owls. I spent quite a bit of time today trying to impress on the squirrel that she was not welcome. I doubt the she will remember, come morning. At dusk, the male could be heard calling but we couldn't hear any response from her. Hopefully, later tonight they'll return and consume the mouse that they cached in the right box.

03/12/04 - Female entered the right box briefly around 4am to get her cache. She spent the day in the left box and we could hear the male calling her at dusk from a nearby tree. This behavior is consistent with prior years. In the weeks leading up to the start of nesting, the owls take turns in the boxes and sometimes both spend the day outside the boxes if the weather cooperates. The temperature is around 35 deg. F today with snow flurries and strong winds.

03/13/04 - Today was sunny and around 40 deg. F.  Both owls took this opportunity to spend the day out in the trees, sunning themselves. We are still about 3 weeks away from when they normally start to nest.

03/14/04 - No sign of either owl again today. There have been Coopers hawks in the area lately and we are hoping that the owls are ok.

03/19/04 - Still no sign of either owl and the Coopers continues to be seen daily in the area. Nesting has usually not started until the first week in April so there is still a chance, but we are increasingly concerned that something bad has happened. We still have about 3 weeks based on prior years activity.

03/23/04 - We are increasingly pessimistic about the return of this pair of owls. It appears that the overly aggressive grey squirrel may have succeeded in evicting the owls. We continue to call them each night with no success thus far. It is still 2 weeks until when they normally would nest here so we haven't completely given up hope yet.

04/03/04 - The squirrels have been especially bad this year. Usually the owls win but this year may be different. We have not observed the usual nesting behavior from the owls and are beginning to doubt whether they will nest this year.

04/17/04 - Well it looks like the nesting has been interrupted by the squirrels this year. Although the owls continue to make an appearance every once and awhile it does not appear that they will nest in the boxes this year. Later in May I'll take advantage of the 'down time' to improve the video in the boxes and be ready for this fall when they begin to roost.

08/16/04 - The side cameras have been updated to low light color, hi resolution cams and are ready for the roosting season. We continue to hear the owls in the vicinity of the nest boxes and the adults should be evicting any young from their territory this month. We have some new visitors. Three southern flying squirrels have been using the right box and I've activated the webcam again to catch some of their antics. Enjoy the flyers until the owls return later in October.


Jim Podsiadlo.
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Revised: July 09, 2006 .