Monday, December 31, 2012

May 3, 2012: A Most Unusual Food Delivery

What makes this food delivery unusual? First it happened during the day. Second, it was a whole mouse (wondered where my bold bird feeder mice went to). Third, Mme. Owl was spending daytime outside the nest due to the heat, but showed-up, called to her mate, and eventually he arrived with this mouse, still in daylight, a time when screech owls especially do not want to be seen. So this is one of the oddest food deliveries I can remember seeing.

Fortunately, the S2071 automatically recorded these events. Unfortunately, it was set to start recording six seconds before motion was detected in the entryway, and to stop sixty seconds afterward, so you don’t so much get a slice of owl life from this movie, as slices. When there's been a meaningful gap between consecutive recordings, you will notice breaks in the video (some very obvious, some less so). Those correspond to periods when there was no motion in the entryway to trigger recording. Nonetheless, take all the fragments for a 56 minute period, even though they capture only 18 minutes of it, run them together into a single movie, and the result is still of interest (IMHO). The sound was a problem however: my nightmare hum was present at the time all of this occurred. I've filtered it out, but the side-effects of doing so are over-emphasized high frequencies, and the addition, at times, of what sounds like an echo, which is definitely not a sonic characteristic of the nest box.

May 3, 2012, 7:24 to 8:21 PM CDT
266.7 MB MPEG-4 movie, of 17:56 duration.

As this movie begins, the eldest owlet was 9 days, 4 hours and 20 minutes old, ±16 minutes, while the youngest owlet was exactly 6 days, 3 hours and 31 minutes old. No idea how old the mouse was, or even its species.

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