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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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Screech Owl update

Last week, after two days of no pictures and nagging fears that a squirrel had dined on screech owl eggs, I was ready to throw in the towel. I decided to wait a few days for my luck to change before going back to pull the camera. When I checked the camera yesterday I found 368 pictures (4 days worth) on the memory stick! Hallelujah!

There were no pictures of nestlings, but all signs indicate that there are young in the nest. Up till now, I never got a photo of two owls, and rarely got pictures of either owl going into the nest cavity. That's no longer the case.

And up till now, I only occasionally found pictures of the owls in the cavity. Now, 40% of the pictures were of the commotion in the nest cavity. There's a lot of flapping and excitement when the food is delivered.

Oddly, there were only three photos of prey: a Jerusalem cricket (or potato bug), and an insect larva.

Where are the mice? The woods are crawling with them. Or do dismembered mice invite blowflies and predators? I plan on keeping a camera on this nest until they fledge. Maybe I'll get a few pictures of the "fluffies".


jim said...

These photos are top-notch. I discovered your blog too late -- my screechers left home two weeks ago -- but will conatct you next year about your methods.

My blog is www.northjersey.com/owl

All four eggs hatched, and all four nestlings left the nest ...

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks Jim, I like your site. I have two owl boxes up, but squirrel squatters appropriated them. Would love to web cam the owls next year, but I've got to find a place where the owls have the upper hand. It was sheer luck finding that nest cavity. Congrats on your successful fledging of four!