Friday, March 23, 2012

Both Owls Roosting

You don't see the following very often: The mated pair of screech owls roosting in the nest box together. In my experience it happens only one day early in the nesting process, but it always happens. Pair bonding shortly before the stress of the first egg's arrival? Just trying it out for size? I don't know.

I had hoped to to encourage this behavior on the part of the male by adding the internal perch (there were other motivations for it, too), because it's the male's job to sit guard duty somewhere, but my yard doesn't necessarily provide good places for him to do that, so I thought he could do it from inside the nest box. If he's dealing with a large predator (cat, possum, etc.), being inside the box either defeats the purpose, or requires a very quick exit so he can conduct his defense from outside where he has room to maneuver, but with smaller threats and pests, being in the box is an advantage as today's furious starlings demonstrated.

My schemes notwithstanding, the owls (as always) have their own ideas, and those dictate that this only happens once a year, within a few days of the start of nesting. Make of it what you will, but it's a beautiful sight.

No eggs yet, BTW.


  1. Chris, I've been watching the owls for years. This year is a bit different. There seems to be no link to the current nest box camera. Can you help? Thanks.
    SW PA

  2. LunaSelene,

    This year is getting off to a slow start as I try new technology that should make the much-too-frequent service outages of last year a permanent thing of the past. Unfortunately, making that happen is requiring some custom software development on my part, and dealing with technologies I've never touched before, so that's not going as quickly as I would like (to put it mildly). One way or another, though, I'll get it done, so bear with me.

    BTW, whenever I bring up the normal site, it will be at the traditional location.