June 27, 2009
Record-breaking heat (100 plus, for the last 3 days) We continue to see the juveniles, accompanied by one or both parents, visiting the water dish on the back deck, between 6 and 6:30 AM. They have been roosting mostly in the big pecan tree over neighbor’s carport to the north. We can only get a firm count of 3 juveniles at once, but it’s hard to keep the count straight on a bunch of moving birds.
Sidebar on the Bayland Owls
As previously noted, one parent (the male, we thought) was hit by a car and killed around May 15. At our June 17 party for Nate, our neighbor, Sam, reported seeing a dead owl on the Norhill Esplanade. We did not get any more details, so we don’t know whether this was a juvenile or a parent. However, on June 27, Janet recovered a dead juvenile from Bayland St. (in front of her house). This juvenile weighed only 86 grams, and upon handling it felt very emaciated, based on the feel of projecting bones covered by little flesh. One hypothesis is that the bird reported by Sam was the female parent, and that the June 27 juvenile starved as an orphan, at about 53 days after fledging.
June 18, 2009
AM; T=77; more rainless heat
c fluffing. Some of these owlets took on so much water bathing that they could barely clear the deck for a branch.
Roosted in the pecan over the carport.
PM, back from the hosp. just too late to see owls; T’s dad getting out of the hospital tomorrow.
June 17, 2009
Brief bathing by one owl (adult F) with owlets around but not participating. Don’t know where they roosted.
PM, didn’t see owls; welcomed Nate to the neighborhood
June 14, 2009
Up too late to see owls
June 13, 2009
AM, T=78, hot morning; saw no owls at dawn, but at least one is in the football tree at 8AM
PM, T=97, another hot day. No owl watching. This was the day Lloyd had a fieldtrip home from Methodist Rehab hsptl. C fell walking Ripley and tore things in her forearm.
June 12, 2009
Friday AM, owlets on the picket fence and ligustrum by N neighbor’s kitchen door
PM, T=97, very hot day
I let Ripley out at 6PM, prior to his walk. He bounded out into the back yard, the word ‘squirrel’ ringing in his canine brain. Sure enough, he chased a surprised squirrel along the fence top, where it leaped frantically into the Football tree E of the shop, flushing at least 3 owls. One flew N and got mobbed for 15 minutes. One sat on the curved branch over the shop window. It was a juvenile, and afforded me my first good, clear look at one in weeks. It is less fuzzy and rotund looking now; the plumage on the breast, esp lower breast, is still striped horizontally but more of the back and wings look adult. It looked at me and the dog for a moment in cryptic alert mode, then assessed us as nonentities and went back to regular mode and looked away, more interested in the fate of its mobbed sibling. Shortly afterward it returned to the roost. 8:25PM, I was in the shop to watch but saw only one owl come down from the roost, sit for a bit then fly N.
June 11, 2009
AM, T=76, light breeze
No morning activity
June 10 2009
AM, T=78, muggy
6AM, owlets in the backyard, in and around the Birdfeeder tree
6:15-18A, brief drinking owl, seem to be the F; owlets flying among the Orchid and Thistlefeeder branches, but none come to participate at the pool.
June 8, 2009
AM, 73 clear and dry;
5:50A, heard rasping from the driveway and E of shop; saw a few flights but the owlets are kind of quiet this morning. I suspect they are roosting in the tree E of the shop. No bathing activity this morning.
7:30pm; still light out but there is strong mobbing out on the driveway—robin, mockers, jays, a cardinal. The recipient is the small male…isn’t it? But it is so small; is it the adult or a juvenile? After a few minutes I catch a motion on another branch of the crepe myrtle—another owl. The female? Another juvenile? I was poised to go get the binoculars when the small owl/male flew up into the oak outside the weaving room window. Looking up from below I could see 3 little owl tails. Aha! the roost site. 8:15pm, the owlets moved on over the house to the W.
June 3, 2009
No, the owlets are still around. However, there was no sign of them in the morning, and nobody came to bathe. We did hear birds scolding along the east fence line, possibly at a slinking cat, so maybe the owl parents were also being vigilant, and had to pass up their morning bath. In evening, around 8:30PM, owlets were clustered in the crepe myrtle on the driveway. They were not rasping, however. At some point, they flew up into the driveway hackberry, and at least one food delivery by a parent caused a flurry of rasping and subdued bill clapping, which I am starting to think is associated with feeding competition among siblings. Two owls flew in sequence to the Honda branch. One remained there a long time. I got the impression that when parents flew north and west, owlets followed them. We could not locate them anywhere on the back deck, birdfeeder, or neighbor’s yard to the north. We speculate they flew north or west.