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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

More screech owls

After several days of adjusting camera position, I managed to get 4 more photos of the screech owl in flight (2.7% of 143 photos). I'm not finished with this yet. Now that I know the flight path, I'll try one or two more angles.

The nice thing is that the birds have habituated to the camera. Notice that now I am using the plural. A pair of consecutive photos of owls leaving the cavity proves that there is a pair, but I still can't tell them apart.

In this week's batch of photos there were still no images of owls carrying prey. I assume they are feeding away from the nest, but expect the male will deliver food when the female is incubating.

Does any reader of this humble blog know if screech owls regurgitate pellets away from the nest? Doesn't it makes sense for a nesting owl to keep the nest area free of cues to predators? There certainly is no sign of pellets in the vicinity of this nest tree.


zhakee said...

That is a fantastic photo of the owl in flight as it leaves the nest.

Out of curiousity, how expensive is it to set up all this photo trapping stuff? All I own is my cheapo $300 digital camera....

any good web site links for the beginner?

I'm positive I get all sorts of nighttime critters, but I have no way of proving it except when my poultry get noisy at night.

Camera Trap Codger said...

zhakee, you can buy commercial camera traps (or scouting cameras, same thing), or you can make them yourself. (Or hubby can do it). I make my own. Check out the Pixcontroller website. They have a nice camera trap forum with lots of neat stuff. And you can learn how folks hack their own camera traps. I am sure you have an endless supply of photo stories down there in Kern County and the Sierra Nevadas. Good luck.