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Monday, May 14, 2012

Bye, bye Baby!

At 8:19 this evening, the young owlet finally got up the courage to lean out and fly.  Shortly after, I stepped out the door and was "attacked" by Papa who will defend the young one and Momma for the next few days.  I didn't try very hard to search for them tonight--best to let the young one follow its parents to a safe secure perch for the night.  Tomorrow, I will try to locate their daytime roost and share a photo.  For now, here is the farewell video:

Stay tuned for outside photos.

And still here!

I checked back to last year and fledging took longer than the books say but this is ridiculous!  Maybe tonight.  In the mean time, here is a photo of the owlet looking out yesterday (and no, I do not know why he/she looks yellowish.

And feeding last night included a Cecropia Moth.  I used to raise the large silk moths (Luna, Polyphemus, and Cecropia) but that is not possible with screech owls feeding baby nearby.  A couple of years ago, I caught Papa on top of the mating cage picking off the male moths as they arrived.  Here is proof of the problem from last night:

A nice meal for a young one, and here is a photo of the owlet stretching its wings:

Check in tonight.  It has to leave soon because I have run out of recording space for videos even though I delete most of them!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Baby Resists Leaving

It is 29 days since hatching and baby is still clinging to his nest box.  Momma is seldom leaving him(or is it her?) any food when she leaves.  She often feeds from a mouse until the owlet doesn't seem to want any more, then takes the rest out of the box presumably to eat herself.

Early in the evenings, most of the food brought in by both Momma and Papa are small moths, grubs, worms, and other, often unidentifiable insect.  One night Papa brought something that looked like a Dobsonfly.  Here is an early evening video from May 7 and some larger insects from a couple of nights earlier.

Later in the evening, the fare changes to rodents with Momma still preparing most of them for the owlet.  He is swallowing larger and larger pieces though so a whole mouse, which is typical adult food, should be soon either in or out of the nest box.  This morning was the first time this year that I have seen the food include a bird.  Identity of the bird is pending but it obviously did not have the best morning.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Left Alone

Today, Momma did not return to the nest box for the day for the first time since March 5, two full months of constant care for her young.  She left the owlet alone.

Throughout the night both Momma and Papa were bringing food.  Unlike early in it's life though, no food has been left behind.  If the food was a mouse, Momma would prepare and feed some of it, and take the rest away with her when she left.  Baby would climb after her, as if to follow, but always returned to the floor waiting.  With daylight here and no mother, he is restless and keeps peeking out to see what is going on.

Will he leave tonight or stay for a couple of more days?  Only time will tell.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Time Goes By So Fast!

I apologize to my viewers that I have not posted more.  It is hard to believe that it is 23 days since the egg hatched.  Typically, young screech owls fledge at 26 days so we don't have much longer to watch.  Last night, the baby owl displayed two actions indicating that it is nearly ready to leave--frequent stretching and flapping of its young wings, and climbing to the entry to wait for food.  In a couple of days, it will climb and take the plunge to the ground, never to return to the nest box of its birth.  Enjoy this video and the next couple of days of live feed: