Saturday, October 18, 2008

An owl!

"I can't believe it! Go get your camera!" James exclaimed while we were outside in the back yard earlier this afternoon. I swiveled around and looked up into the eastern screech owl! It found the new nesting box we put up a few months ago! I'm guessing it's Al, Agatha's mate. She nested in our other box earlier this year. What a wonderful sight! Cliff Shackelford, who hand builds Owl Shacks like ours, told me that's what would likely happen: the male will find the nearby box and use it for roosting in the fall and winter.

In the meantime, James has been busy on a new project, well within Al's sights. But the owl doesn't mind our presence at all. In fact, I stood right under him to shoot my photos. He barely blinked at me. Sometimes the chickadees and titmice mob any owls they see roosting, but no one's bothered him so far. Lucky for him.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2008–UPDATE–I stepped outside around noon to check on the owl box in the oaks (our first owl box is attached to an abandoned utility pole). Sure enough, an owl was perched in the opening. As I walked closer, though, it stepped back and disappeared within the box. That reaction makes me think that I saw the female this time.

Thinking back to last spring, at first the owl didn't care if we stood underneath the box. Then it'd act skittish and disappear. Two distinctly different behaviors. Which led me to surmise that we had two owls using the box. Thus, I attributed Al as the laid-back, c'mon-over guy and Agatha as the nervous, go-away gal.

They've both found the new box!


Lorilee said...

How exciting. I would love to have owls in my yard. I have a pair calling to each other on the highline that is behind our yard, but they only stayed a few nights.

Pam/Digging said...

Oh, so neat! I really must buy or make my own owl box. I've got some great trees for one at the new house.

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