Live Feed from UStream

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hatching due about April 6

Momma is brooding 3 eggs.  That will be all for this year; fewer than last year but quite normal.  The last egg was laid on March 16 so hatching is due about April 6, with all eggs hatching within a day or two of each other..  In the meantime, it may not be exciting but these are important times for her to work hard.  She usually takes a break shortly after dark (about8:00 p.m. EDT) and another before sun rise (about 5:30 a.m. but quite variable).  Papa delivers food to her as it is available.  As I was typing this (9:18 p.m.), Papa delivered a rodent, she swallowed it whole, and went back to brooding the eggs within about 2 minutes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Three eggs and a squirrel

Yesterday afternoon, momma was peacefully brooding her three eggs when she heard a noise outside the box. Watch what happens when a squirrel decides to intrude on her nest box!  Who do you think was the most surprised?

As of this morning (Monday, March 19) she still has 3 eggs and is a little overdue for laying a fourth if she is going to do so but . . .

Monday, March 12, 2012

We have an egg!

Momma laid her first egg of 2012 at 12:44 a.m.  Here are a couple of screen "grabs" from the video recording and a video short of the effort she had to put forth to produce it.  This is the first time I have actually found the laying on a video; don't know if that is because it was particularly difficult for her or if all of the rest were during the day when I have seldom recorded before.   

To hear her on the video, you will need to turn your volume up and put up with the awful camera noise for a while; sorry.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Still Waiting for Eggs

Patience is the game in an owl's life.  Although she had not laid any eggs as of this morning, she spent most of last night (except for about 2 hours early and an hour just before sunrise) in the box, most of it in "brooding" position.  In this position, she is generally facing the front, her body enlarged over much of the floor and she appears to be resting/sleeping.  She "woke up" occasionally to nibble on the mouse that she cached last night.  Papa checked in at least 3 times and they spoke to each other briefly each time.  Today is the seventh consecutive day spent in the box.

I will have the live feed on as much as possible.  At present there is usually no sound.  I may add sound at night if you want to check; there is much high frequency camera noise but if you turn your volume down to 50% or a little lower, you will be able to hear any calling that she does.  Calling should drop off considerably when she is sitting on eggs.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Egg Laying imminent?

Changes in behavior over the last two days have been profound.  The female has roosted in the box during the day every day.  She has spent a lot more time in and near the box at night.  The male delivered food to her at least 4 times last night--2 rodents (9:49 p.m. and 4:19 a.m.), a grub at midnight, and something unidentifiable about 11:00.  At daybreak, Momma entered the box shortly before 6:00 as she has the past few mornings but this time she was silent with the male staying on the roof calling until after 6:30.  She has been restless during the day today and many other birds are looking into the box as she moves about.  In recognition of the impending event, my friend Calum prepared a card that I will share with you.  Lots of rainbows for good luck!

I will have the live feed on at sundown (about 6:00 eastern standard time) when she should fly out and reveal any egg(s) that may have been laid during the day.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Waiting for Eggs; Live Feed News

As of this morning, she has not laid any eggs but she has roosted in the box for 4 straight days.  The only time she spent that many days in the box last year was just before the first egg.  So any day now.  The live feed will be on periodically but does not have audio at present.  Enjoy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Papa Proves he is Ready

Early this morning, the male screech owl once again demonstrated that he is ready to provide for momma and her young during the nesting season.  In this unedited video he brings a mouse for her:

I am having some delays in preparing the live feed but hope to have it up and running before the eggs are laid.  Remember that the camera has some high frequency noise that you can minimize if you reduce the play-back volume on your computer.  Sorry.