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Monday, May 2, 2011

Of Mice and Moths

I did a detailed log of last night's feeding activity. Between Momma's first fly-out at 8:09 p.m. last night and her final return at 5:36 a.m. this morning, she left the nest box 24 times! As all of the accounts of screech owl feeding behavior report, this activity was concentrated during, but not exclusively limited to, the early evening hours and before dawn.

Between 8:09 and 9:45 she flew out 10 times returning each time with a small meal that she shared with the owlets. Although it was often very difficult to identify what she caught, I did catch one photo of a medium size moth:

Between 9:45 p.m. and 2:40 a.m., Momma only left the nest box twice. BUT, that was the time that Papa was most active delivering food to her including this large moth, probably a Polyphemus or Luna moth which are both flying now:

and 2 rodents:

Then from 2:40 to 5:36 a.m., Momma flew an additional 12 "missions" returning once with a mouse and the rest of the times with smaller prey.

Total food for the night (minimum): 4 rodents and at least 30 insects! And that doesn't count whatever Momma and Papa ate for themselves outside the view of the camera.

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