Sunday, April 1, 2012

Egg no. 4 Happens

Egg no. 4 happened sometime today. Four eggs is the normal size for a screech owl clutch (well, a mean of something like 3.75 is, if memory serves, what Gehlbach came-up with), so this is probably the last of the eggs. Now, Mme. Owl settles into relentless incubation for the next 30 days, and then continues that task for some weeks afterward as she broods the owlets.

It must be mighty boring for a born huntress, but she knows what needs to be done, and, of course, so does her mate, who'll be supplying almost 100% of the family's food for about the next seven weeks.


  1. Anonymous9:28 AM CDT

    Thanks Chris!


  2. Anonymous12:25 PM CDT

    Thanks for the updates, Chris! As I recall, the tree where the nest box resides is not in very good shape and the box won't have a lot of shade. Are you concerned about the temperature inside the box?

    Sandra, Indianapolis

  3. Sandra,

    Yes, nest box temperatures are a concern now that the tree can no longer provide any shade. That said, yesterday it hit 100 degrees here, and the thermometer in the box matched that value at that time. The good news, then, is that despite the lack of shade, the nest box interior was no hotter than the ambient air temperature.

    Nonetheless, given an opportunity, I worked-out yeaterday that I can fabricate and rapidly retrofit effective radiant barriers on the sides of the box that receive afternoon sun. The trouble is that this is not a good time to disturb Mme. Owl, and there won't be a good time for about six weeks, all things being equal.

    So I am faced with a conundrum. I'll watch the situation and try to balance the disturbance I'd cause Mme Owl with retrofitting work, and the problems the heat poses for her and the owlets.


  4. Anonymous11:02 PM CDT

    Chris, will the cam be up this year?

  5. I'm beating my brains out trying to get the cam' up this year. I've been undone (or delayed to the point that potential solutions become useless, given the schedule pressures) by both technologies and people. I've fallen back to plan C, and think I can get the cam' up in the next few days (taxes permitting). I'm not sure how the images plan C produces will look, yet. Whether that'll be a pleasant or unpleasant surprise, is something I am anxious to learn.

    Sorry for the delay, everyone.


  6. Hope all is well with the nest and Momma Owl :) How is incubation going?

    Laurie, Mississauga, ON