Friday, December 21, 2012

December 20/21 Owl Visit

The owls (or at least one of them) continue to monitor the nest box. Since live owlets emerged from this nest site this year, it will be their first choice for a nest site this coming year. Therefore, they probably give it far more attention than any other cavity in their territory. It’s been a long time since I was able to gather data on the frequency of owl visits to their would-be nest site over time. I'm looking forward to collecting such information again, in the lead-up to this year's nesting.

Nothing about the behavior shown here is a clear indicator of the sex of the owl. My guess, at this time of year, is that it is the male, making sure that he'll have a nest site to offer his mate a few months from now. The pair are mated for life (although screech owl life expectancies in the wild are sufficiently short that it's hard to know how meaningful that is in practice), but it seems to be the male’s responsibility to secure a nest site as part of the yearly mating ritual (and to defend it while nesting is in progress), so he’ll be anxious to ensure that he can hold-up his end of that bargain.

December 21, 2012, 6:56 AM CST
23.4 MB MPEG-4 video.

I can’t say this video is exciting, but if you need your screech owl fix, or just want to see what these quick “status check” visits are like, have a look.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:27 PM CST

    Great blog Chris. I moved my owl box off a tree and onto a post this Fall. Hoping this will lead to success...