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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Long Courtship

It is a new year and I, as well as the pair of owls have a lot to learn.  At least this time around, it will be very easy to tell the owls apart.  I have only had one brief view of the new red-phase owl--it is a truly beautiful, full rufous red, not at all a "brown phase" individual.

For anyone reading this who is not familiar with Screech Owls, they mate for life.  If one passes, the other will adopt a new mate.  Once the eggs are laid, the female will depend almost exclusively on the male to bring food for her and the owlets.  What is apparently occurring now is the test phase.  Is the box suitable?  Will the male be able to supply the needed food?  Do they trust each other?

I record video every night from dusk to dawn, log every arrival/departure to the box, and make notes on any behaviors that I observe.  I don't know why, I guess it has become an obsession.  On a typical night lately, 12 hours of video have produced 5-30 minutes of owls doing something, anything--the rest nothing (which you probably already know if you have checked out the live feed).  Although I delete much of it, I save many hours more than I share with you here--you get the cream.  Maybe someday, I will figure out what to do with the rest of it.

In the mean time, here is a video from March 23 of Gray feeding Red.  This was the first (maybe second but it was not conclusive) of a feeding taking place.  Check back to last year and you will see videos of Papa bringing Momma whole voles to prove his worthiness!  Stay with us to see what happens this year:


Anonymous said...

What's the latest 'your' owl have started nesting?

Bob in highlands.

Grey said...

Yippee!!! This is such wonderful news. I have not been online when they were there, but I have noticed the leaves have been moved around. I was hoping that meant they had been visiting the box. How exciting to see the feeding!
You are so good to us to edit and share the videos. Thank you! Rufous is such a beautiful coloration. I adore the vocals.