I brought the owls’ nest box down early this morning and attached the owlet rail outside the entry/exit hole (see the final photo). This was done in anticipation of the eldest owlet leaving the nest soon, and in the expectation that having a perch outside the hole must make that critical leap from nest to tree easier.
This also gave me an opportunity to open the nest box and take some family portraits. Above, I believe, is the eldest owlet. Below, poorly photographed, is the youngest owlet. I also meant to photograph unhatched egg no. 4, but it wasn’t immediately evident, and searching the bedding materials for it seemed like it would be an unnecessary disturbance to the owlets. (I can dig it up after the owlets are gone.)
And below is what the nest box looks like with the owlet rail attached to the front. (There’s a paper towel temporarily to stuffed into the entry/exit hole to calm the owlets, but, otherwise, it looks much the same once it’s been returned to its rightful place in the tree.)
Needless to say, this threat to the nest and owlets resulted in repeated attacks by the adults, from which my scalp probably carries a good number of scratches, all well-deserved. And all in a good cause.
Remember, you can still watch the activity in the nest more-or-less live. It won’t be long before the owlets are gone for the year, so, if you care about this sort thing, watch while you still can.