Saturday, 24 March 2018

Getting My Owl Fix

As usual at this time of year, my Eastern Screech owls have stopped using my owl boxes for day roosts and have flown off to an unknown (to me) location to begin nesting. One of the abandoned boxes has been claimed by a pair of European Starlings. The first thing the male did was to remove the wood shavings that I installed last autumn in an effort to please the owls. The starling's rejection of the bedding reminded me of a new home owner redecorating to suit his own taste. (Ugh! this carpet just has to go!)

 
Early morning sunshine highlights a male European Starling's iridescence.



The female perching nearby, ponders the abandoned owl box's potential.

 

As much as I miss seeing my owls, I do have a compensation of sorts. Live streaming owl cams!

Located in Austin, Texas, the Jollyville Screech owl house hangs about 20 feet off the ground in a large live oak tree. Currently, a pair of Screech owls, named Olivia and Alton, are attending five eggs. I've seen Olivia rolling her eggs on a regular basis and it sounds a little like billiard balls clicking together. Careful there, lady. It's always interesting to see what food items the resourceful dad hauls back to the box for the patient mom. Live feed video of these owls can be seen at:






Blogger friend Jocelyn at Canadian Needle Nana, regularly shares pictures of her tasteful needle-art and of her elegant home and gardens. She also offers excellent recommendations on cuisine, books and films. Last year, she pointed out the live streaming video of a pair of Barred owls living in Indiana. Like thousands of others, we became hooked on watching these owls hatch their three eggs and successfully raise the youngsters. It was amazing to see how well-mannered the chicks were to each other and how patient and devoted the parents were. Again this year, the owl box camera shows a clutch of three eggs. I will be checking on them often, especially in the evenings, when the male is more active in bringing food items back to the nest. Here is the live feed, hosted by Wild Birds Unlimited:




Sometimes we don't see what the camera sees until we download and examine the pictures. Often the backyard bird feeder clientele will all freeze in unison. A predator bird is usually the cause but seldom seen by me, casually watching out a window. One of my snaps revealed a swooping surprise bird, too blurry to identify. It certainly puts me in mind of a hawk.


A Hairy woodpecker eyeballs an incoming bird. A hawk, perhaps?



A hungry chipmunk hoovers up sunflower seeds. Is that a baby-bump?



Remarkably calm-natured for a red squirrel, this cutie enjoys a peanut.



House-mate, Ellie-Mae enjoying a neck massage. Life is good!




2 comments:

  1. Ellie-Mae and the chipmunk compete for first place today, all owls coming a close third.

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  2. Oh Florence, your very kind words certainly gave me a lift today. Thanks for that!
    Meanwhile, I watch these Jollyville owls too-they look so large. Owls are so much better mamas than the eagles. I was watching an eagle nest yesterday and the mother accidently knocked an egg out of the bowl and didn't even notice. I really don't think that would happen with our Barred momma.
    The rain has deccreased our snow but still staying kind of cold here. Hope it's warmer where you are.

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