November 30, 2009
Cold front blew in during the night. Morning was cool (52F), drippy, dark, and windy (N 20 knots).
I did not spot any owls flying over the driveway in the pre-dawn, but Connie thought she might have seen a flash of a wing over the Low Carport Pecan branches. During the day, there were several episodes of mobbing which suggested that both owls might be roosting in the pecan tree over neighbor’s carport to the north. One owl was low (in the SW corner towards Van Ek’s) and the other was higher up, in the east side of the tree.
PM: Shortly after sundown (ca. 5:35-5:40 pm), Conn saw owl from Low Pecan roost fly NE. Tom saw owl from High Pecan roost also fly NE. A minute later, an owl flew south over our garage roof, and down the driveway to crepe myrtle, followed 20 second later by a second owl on the same route. One of the owls flew from crepe myrtle to burr oak in Evan yard, then back to Computer Oak, where an impact was heard, high in the tree. The other owl continued to sit in the crepe myrtle. Eventually, this owl flew in front of Evans house, heading east on Euclid. Maybe we’ll check for feathers under the Computer Oak tomorrow. We know from nestbox litter in the spring that cedar waxwings are favored prey.
Side note: today we had big flocks of robins and cedar waxwings in the upper canopy around the shop and back yard; , starlings and (possibly) blackbirds also passing through during late afternoon.
November 29, 2009
We did not spot the owl’s day roost(s) this morning. They were neither in yesterday’s low pecan branch over the carport to the north, nor in the Football tree east of the shop. However, around 2:45 PM, there was a ruckus in the pecan tree / birdfeeder area, and all of a sudden the female owl appeared in the nest box. She rattled a bit at the bluejays which followed her to the box, but then spent the rest of the afternoon in the box, head out the door. She doesn’t seem to like being in the box—too confining. She emerged at 5:32 PM, sat on the exterior perch for a while, and finally flew (east of the shop) at 5:38PM. We never did spot the male in the evening.
Shortly after the 2:45PM move of the female, C spotted a big hawk which left the pecan tree and flew down our driveway. Did the hawk play a part in moving the female owl off her day-time roost? In my experience, she has been resistant to mobbing from bluejays, etc., and it is sort of unusual for her to be driven into the nest box in the middle of the day.
November 28, 2009
Both owls (female and male) are roosting side by side on the pecan branch over the neighbor’s carport to the north. They get razzed pretty frequently by various birds, but they also have a good view of the sunflower-seed feeder and its daytime visitors. I suppose the grapevine finally lost so many leaves that it is no shelter any more for a day roost. I wonder if the owls will move yet again, to a foliage roost in a live oak tree, after the pecan drops its leaves.
November 27, 2009
In the pre-dawn twilight, an owl made two short visits to the nest box. At 6:18AM, it entered the box, turned around on the side perch, and exited again, less than a minute later, uttering a brief, rather high-pitched trill, descending slightly at the end. At 6:22AM, it entered again, and this time flopped down to the floor of the box, where it spent a minute fluffing around in the shavings and sort of acting like it was inspecting the bedding material. It exited at 6:23AM. At 7:09AM, I heard bluejay mobbing, perhaps east of the shop. Shortly after, I checked the cam again and discovered owl had retreated to the shelter of the box. He/she is currently resting on the bottom of the box, apparently going to spend the day. Addendum: At 7:45AM, there was a large owl roosting in the Football roost, and another owl hiding in the box. My interpretation: it’s the male in the box.
November 26, 2009
I couldn’t spot any owls in the Football roost. Squirrels were playing around the nest box, and one went inside long enough to get photographed.
November 25, 2009
One owl (female?) is still roosting in the “Football tree”, even though the grapevine has lost lots and lots of leaves. The other owl (male?) has moved to a foliage roost, over the neighbor’s carport to the north, in the west end of the pecan branch which extends over the corner of the carport closest to Van Ek’s. Around 5:35PM, the two owls met in the crepe myrtle by Grady’s window. One owl flew south along the fence line (from the Football roost?), at the same time the other flew between the gap between our house and garage. They sat side by side for a time, moving between a couple of branches on the crepe myrtle. I lost them after that, but when I walked down our driveway 10 minutes later, one owl flew from the crepe myrtle to the burr oak on the sidewalk in front of Evans house.
November 18, 2009
Owl over the driveway, about 6:15AM. Did not visit the box (at least while we were watching, after 6 AM). However, sometime fairly early in the morning, in response to vociferous mobbing by a big crew of blue jays, plus a mockingbird, the male owl took refuge in the nest box, and spent the day up on the perch in the back corner. It’s interesting to see that the box remains a trusted refuge.
At 5:45pm he stretched, trilled once (presumably to Madame Owl, who was still roosting under her grapevine canopy, and be-damned to the bluejays), and moved up into entrance. At 5:45pm he flew from the box.
November 17, 2009
Owl visited the nest box at 6:17AM, perching briefly in entrance, but did not look inside.
November 16, 2009
About 6:15AM, an owl was sitting on Stub Branch on side of driveway, apparently hunting over the compost-pile area..
November 15, 2009
Owl over the driveway, about 6:15AM. Conn spotted it on the Driveway Branch and in the crepe myrtle near Grady’s window. At 6:23AM it flew north up the driveway (perhaps to a roost east of the shop?). No visits to box.