Friday May 29, 2009 AM
6:15A, Mom came to drink at the owl pool, accompanied by her offspring. They were fascinated, and one of them hopped down to try it out. He/she sat on the edge, then dipped one foot in and froze, other foot curled up and butt resting on the edge, unable to go further. All of them wanted to stay and experiment but dawn caught up with them in the various personae of sparrows, jays and squirrels. They roosted in the hackberry branch directly over the roof.
Started rasping at 8:15P. I had the shop open but elected to stay in the kitchen watching the deck, assuming that they would not be able to resist the allure of water. But our neighbors came out and fussed in the driveway; at any rate, the owlets went to our driveway, jumping around from crepe myrtle to computer room oak to Driveway branch (3 in a row but far too dark for a picture). They eventually moved north, but not to the back yard, nor the deck. Don’t know where they went next.
Thursday May 28, 2009
AM, rasping in the Evans yard; and on the Honda branch. I think they roosted in the football tree E of the shop;
PM, watched all 4 owlets bobbing in the bushes and on the fence, out the shop window. Very cute. We stayed well back from the window tonight, afraid that with too much intervention they may not roost there anymore at all.
Wednesday May 27, 2009
PM, bobbing owlets on the fence and monkey bars in the corner of the Evan’s yard; sliding on the blue play roof. We were discovered by the M, standing guard; gave the faintest of descending trills, several times, trying to discern if we were really there, standing behind the workbench in the upstairs shop. He came around to the W side and hooted and bill-clapped at us as we shut up the shop and went down the stairs and inside.
May 21, 2009
F came to bathe at the owl pool this morning, 6:25A. Previous to that we saw the owlets congregate briefly on the pecan limb over the neighbor’s carport but don’t know where they went to roost. This morning there was an adult robin scratching in the leaves with two adolescent robins in tow. PM, I filled the owl pool with fresh water and watered the plants on the deck at 8PM; as I was hanging up the hose I looked up to see the F on the fence, watching me with interest. But at no other time this evening did I see or hear owls.
May 15, 2009
Bayland owl death (male?)
Janet e-mailed to report finding a dead owl, apparently hit by a car. Connie recovered it from Janet’s house and we weighed it at 111 grams. It had adult plumage. From the light weight (very light), we guessed it was the male parent of the Bayland clutch. Tom buried it in the compost pile in a wire cage, hoping to possibly recover skeletal remains some day. Janet’s owlets had fledged on May 4, so they have been out of the nest about 10 days at this point.
May 8, 2009
AM, T=78, overcast
Missed the owl action this morning, but I could hear their rasping at their roost site by 6:40A. Blue jays have two insistent young. They share the birdbath and the driveway with the owls. It surprises me to see there is a moratorium there—no jay mobbing, no owl predation; perhaps hostilities will continue when the young have left the area for their own territories.
May 7, 2009
AM, T=77 already; muggy and overcast
At 5:30 couldn’t locate the owlets by rasping or flight; 6:20A saw the M on the driveway branch. 6:30A the owlets are clumping in their roost in the oak on the E side of the house, just over the roof.
6:35A, the F arrowed away through the gap to the back yard. On a hunch I went to the back door and there she was, bathing in the owl pond. Lots of splashing and staring black eyes. She spent 10 minutes on a low branch drying out and preening. It is hard to look vigilant and parental when you are vigorously shaking your feathered booty in a tree. Finally dry, she went and jumped in again. It was completely light by now, with cardinals and squirrels and jays all around, but no one paid any attention to her.
All quiet, 6 owls in a tree, by 7:30A.
PM, T=88, hot
Owls were there all day, clumped.
8:20P, first one owlet flew down to the crepe myrtle, then another, then two more; much rasping and larking about. Eventually they all flew to the driveway branch to where the F was sitting, then back to the myrtle, then up and over our roof, going W. We stood expectantly at the back door watching for them to come to the owl pool, but they continued over our heads, westward, to Reagan/Woodland area. Good hunting.
May 6, 2009
AM; (Tom): When I walked out the backdoor this morning at 6:10AM, thinking to sneak down the driveway and check for owls in the that location, I walked right into them. There were some buzzes over my head in the hackberry which used to have the Van Ek nest box, but the first birds I saw were actually sitting on the big pecan limb over the neighbor’s carport. Somebody bill clapped softly, so I just backed into the kitchen and then exited via front door.
PM, when C got home, past 3p, there was at least one adult in the roost tree next to the house—where the adults are, there will be the fledglings. 8PM, we listened at all the windows for the owlets’ rasp but heard nothing. Couldn’t locate them til it got a bit darker, then found them in the crepe myrtle again. They flew (yes flew) across the driveway and over the roof to the west. We went out to walk around the block and found them in the quarter block at Reagan/Woodland. They are excellent flyers now. Watched a parents catch and feed an insect to one of them—another difference: they are separated, not all together in the same tree, or even the same yard.
May 5, 2009
The owlets and parents are still over the driveway, low down. The parents are finding plenty of bugs to feed them. As it got light they all congregated in the tree by the E side of our house. I can look straight up from a front window and there they are: 6 owl bodies, which means the 4 owlets are still alive and together.
Still in the same roost spot, though shifted around a bit. They are about 8’ above roof level, not high compared with treetop roosts from last year.
8:00P, and the evening action is on. All of the owlets are in the crepe myrtle, rasping away. They are quite active, jumping from branch to branch, bobbing their heads. Both parents are delivering bugs and geckos (we assume) constantly.
Eventually they moved up into the trees and west over the roof.
May 4, 2009
AM, T=72, muggy
Not here for more than a cursory morning glance. Don’t see any owls.
PM, C got home in the afternoon and found the owlets in the two trees over our roof.
8:15PM, owlets are all lined up on the branch of the crepe myrtle with Grady’s swing hanging from it. For the next 40 min they were all over that tree, being fed by their parents. Noisy, boisterous, happy fledglings.