Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Backyard Sweeties

Sadly, my cottontail rabbit has disappeared. Neither hide nor 'hare' (pardon the pun) to be found. Sightings stopped at about the same time that we got a coating of freezing rain a couple of weeks back.

On a brighter note, an Eastern Screech-owl has been using both the roost box on the north side of my house and the one on the south side. A few nights back I thought I heard it's soft trilling vocalization. Such a little cutie! Understandably, the other birds in my yard don't share my affection for it.

A scolding Black-capped Chickadee points to the whereabouts of a roosting owl.

A White-breasted Nuthatch confirms the sighting.

An Eastern Screech-Owl peers from the box located on the north side of my house.

Only occasionally does it roost in this newer box installed south of my house.

Not a terrific photo because ...

... I was shooting through this ice-spattered window.

While foraging, this American Tree Sparrow kept slipping and sliding on the ice.


  1. An owl is beautiful, even if a little clouded by ice!!! Lovely to see the others peep in to find out if there is room at the inn, or if all the beds are full.

  2. I am so happy to see your bird update. Could the hare have moved to a new location I wonder. I haven't spotted a rabbit in a while but see loads of tracks. My feeders are attracting squirrels...too many I guess so at least I know that population is doing well. The melt removed the top layer of snow in the front area and revealed quite an elaborate tunnel system made by the little red squirrels. It was awesome to see. How are the bees?

    1. How interesting about the red squirrels' snow tunnels. I never knew about them before and will be looking for them henceforth. Ah, about my bees. Disappointing news there. Both of my honey bee colonies died early in the winter. The provincial bee inspector told me my loss was almost certainly the result of viruses caused by varroa mites. I applied mite treatments twice in 2017 but was apparently too late applying the second treatment. I have ordered two new starter colonies which should be ready for me to pick up in April or May. Better luck/management next time! Thanks for asking Jocelyn. I really miss my usual winter hive visits to hear them buzzing.

  3. Lovely photos as always! Too bad about your rabbit. I haven’t seen any evidence ours is still around either. The pileated woodpecker is fantastic. We had them in Nova Scotia but I have only seen them a handful of times since returning to Ontario. I am sorry to read that your bees died. How sad.
    Take care.

  4. I do love your screech owl! I wonder if your rabbit is nesting? We have seen Tigger, our big buck, this year. I'm sad.

  5. What I have read, is that they don't hurt the trees, so much as get the bugs out. We have trees with huge holes. Hard to say... good luck!

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