Jim Podsiadlo,bird carver,screech owls

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Nesting News

03/06/05 - The male owl entered the right box around 5:30am today. He spent half an hour in the entrance hole calling with a loud monotonic trill. Things are looking up!
03/07/05 - The female owl entered the left box around 5:00am today. She spent only minutes in the entrance hole calling with a soft monotonic trill before dropping to the floor.
03/08/05 - Both owls entered the left box around 1:00am today. They spent some time together before the male left. The female entered again at 5am by herself for a short time.
Each year the male goes through a ritual 'tail drumming' process. We're not sure why he does it but he squats down and rattles his tail back and forth against the sides of the box.
If anyone has any ideas about what he may be doing we'd be interested in hearing from you. I read the 'bible' on eastern screech owls, The Eastern Screech Owl: Life History, Ecology, and Behavior in the Suburbs and Countryside by Frederick R. Gehlbach and didn't see any mention of a similar behavior. This is so much fun!
03/09/05 - The female owl entered the right box around 7:00pm today. She spent 15 minutes silently in the entrance hole before flying, presumably to do some hunting.
Around 7:30pm the male entered and called her with a monotonic trill for a few hours.
03/10/05 - The male owl entered the left box around 7:00pm. He spent 10 minutes trilling loudly inside the box before flying. Around 7:15pm he returned and called her with a monotonic trill for another 15 minutes, then left.
03/12/05 - The male owl entered the right box around 5:00am. He spent a minute trilling softly inside the box and repeated this about every 3 hours. Around 3:15pm he hopped up in the entrance but was silent until 4:30pm when he did a soft geiger counter call. It's been snowing all day today and the temperature is around freezing. Rhedd flew at 6:15pm after trilling for 30 mins. He returned to the left box 5 minutes later and dropped to the bottom to do his tail 'drumming' and kept looking up at the entrance. He repeated this process several times presumably trying to get Scarlett into the box.
03/13/05 - The male owl entered the left box around 5:00am. but didn't stay around for the day. This is common behavior for him this time of year.
03/14/05 - The male owl entered the right box four times between 5:00am. and 5:30am. then roosted in a nearby tree until mobbed by songbirds. At that point, around 5:45am he
entered the right box and stayed the day, flying around 6:10pm.
03/15/05 - The male owl entered the left box around 5:00am. but didn't stay there for long. He moved to the right box around 5:30am and stayed there for the day, flying at 6:15pm.
At 6:30pm he entered the left box and did the tail rattle and monotonic trill. His sweetie joined him in the left box for a few minutes before they both flew.
03/16/05 - The male owl entered the left box around 5:00am. but moved to the right box around 5:30am and stayed there for the day, flying at 6:10pm. We didn't monitor to see if the female joined the male in the left box again tonight, but it is likely.
03/17/05 - The male owl entered the left box around 5:00am. but moved to the right box around 5:30am and stayed there for the day, flying at 6:15pm. The female checked out the
left box around 7pm tonight. I think I see a pattern developing here.
03/18/05 - No owls were in the boxes during the day today. The female entered the right box around 7:08pm. and began a soft monotonic trill. The male entered the left box at 7:15pm and began tail rattling and trilling. She ignored his rattling and trilling and flew at 7:23pm. Rhedd continued to rattle and trill until he flew at 7:45pm. Around 9pm he entered the right box and tried his luck calling her from there. Still no luck. This goes on every year until she decides to settle down and nest in early April.
03/19/05 - No owls were in the boxes during the day today. They were both in the boxes several times between 7 and 8pm. softly trilling back and forth.
03/20/05 - No owls were in the boxes during the day today. The male entered the left box at 1am and stayed for about 30 mins. Both owls were in the left box at 4:30am but left before sunrise. The male was in the left box at 6:50pm and the female entered the right box at 7pm. They exchanged trills for about 15 minutes before he flew. The female also flew around 5 minutes later. The same ritual was repeated again around 11pm.
03/21/05 - BOTH owls are in the boxes during the day today. As usual, the female seems to prefer the right box where she has successfully nested in the past. They both flew around 6:20pm after the male tail 'drummed' for a few minutes. He seems to think the left box is better. After flying, he entered the right box and drummed there a bit but she didn't join him.
03/22/05 - No owls were in the boxes during the day today. We had a visit from the resident Coopers hawk this morning. She's a beauty.
03/23/05 - No owls in either box during the day today.
03/24/05 - No owls in either box today.
03/25/05 - No owls in either box today.
03/26/05 - No owls in either box today. We're still 2 weeks away from nesting and this isn't unusual behavior.
03/27/05 - The female is in the right box today. It's a beautiful sunny Easter day.


Jim Podsiadlo.
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Revised: July 09, 2006 .