December 31, 2009
AM, T=48, warmer, very foggy, drippy
At 7:00AM, one owl (male?) landed on hackberry over the garage, sat for a few seconds, and flew (north? Did not see him fly).
PM. Saw no owls
December 30, 2009
AM, T=40, raining and cold
Did not see owls in the driveway area during the predawn time. Nest box was empty at 5:30AM and on.
PM: Cool 52F, overcast, and drippy. Connie saw owls showing up about 6PM in the Birdfeed/Pecan area. At 6:06PM, Tom saw one owl in the Thistlefeeder Tree, which then flew west into Van Eks yard.
December 29, 2009
AM, T=38, cold, damp, and overcast. Rain predicted for afternoon.
Did not see owls in the driveway area during the predawn time. No owls roosted in the nest box today.
PM: Cold and drippy damp, 42F. I blundered out the kitchen door at 5:45PM and walked right into female owl, who was sitting by the Birdfeeder. She flew a short distance to the Orchid Branch on the hackberry near Van Eks and looked at me for a moment. I continued to a seat on the driveway, and saw nothing for the next 15 minutes in the driveway. I quit when my feet got cold and I got tired of rain drips from the eaves. C saw nothing from kitchen or driveway. Guess they hunted west and north tonight.
December 28, 2009
AM, T=35, cold and clear
7:55AM, We did not get up early enough to watch for pre-dawn maneuvers, but at 7:55AM, male owl was apparently driven into nest box by mobbing jays. Looks like he will be spending a second day in the box (n.b.: male spent the day inside box on Dec. 25, 26, 28.)
PM: About 5:47PM, while male was still in the box, head out, female flew south through the Gap, landing in driveway hackberry near gate. After sitting for a minute or two, she flew purposefully into Computer Oak, but could not see if she captured an insect there. She spent about two minutes there, then flew (I did not see what direction). Only then did the male leave the nest box, flying north on the east side of the shop. He must have flown quite low, because C was watching from east upstairs window, and did not see him. Interestingly, we heard no trilling or other signalling, and the male did not seem to be following the female when he left the box.
December 27, 2009
AM, T=40, cool and clearish
7:00AM, Male owl entered nest box. After much head-out/head-in, he finally got up on the corner perch. However, squirrels running over box, and squawking of mockingbird and jay brought himback into the entrance hole, where he rattled in annoyance and looked to be defending his turf by plugging the entrance. At 7:10AM, he let rip with one high-pitched cackle/trill (roughly, D-sharp in the second octave above Middle C). I wonder if this was for the benefit of the female, who I’d guess is roosting in the Trampoline Liveoak to the north of us.
Male owl looks to be settled in for the day, up on corner perch in the nest box.
PM: We arrived back home with canoes to unload about 5:50PM, so male was still in box, head-out. He left the box some time during our unloading operation. However, we did not see any owls in driveway area or crepe myrtle later. They have some alternative route, obviously.
December 27, 2008
AM, T=79, uncomfortably warm, muggy
6:57AM, No owls seen in trees over the driveway. We have not seen owls in morning or evening for about 3 days. Weather has been warm.
PM, T=59, cool and drippy
5:43PM, After a cold front blew through late this afternoon, it was drippy and much cooler. At about 5:45pm, the male appeared from north neighbor’s yard, landing high in hackberry east of the Birdfeeder Tree, for a big poop. Connie spotted female coming in a minute or two later, landing low in Birdfeeder Tree, near carport. Some jockeying ensued, ending with the female back up high in tree east of Birdfeeder Tree, male somewhat lower in Birdfeeder Tree. Quiet monotonic trilling ensued, with six or eight bouts. Tom thought it was coming from the female, and was high-pitched. Connie thought it was coming from the male, and did not think pitch was anything unusual. After a minute or two, male flew up, hopped briefly on female, some chittering and who knows what else ensued, then they both flew low over our heads, through the gap between house and garage. Female lit high in hackberry over middle of driveway, then flew to nest box and popped into box, then back out again. Meanwhile, male was in crepe myrtle. Female exited box and swooped to crepe myrtle to join male. All this was over by 5:54PM.
December 26, 2009
AM, T=36, cold and overcast
4:40 AM. We were awakened by a series of rather long, monotonic trills, seemingly from the driveway area. Connie placed them at F above Middle C on the piano (which we might have called F-sharp before the recent piano tuning). Around 6AM several thumps from the nest-box microphone, announcing a visitor. Around 6:50AM, we saw both owls engaged in a flurry of box visiting. They both visited the Boy Box (one owl went inside). Then they both visited the Nest Box (again, one owl went inside, fluffed the shavings, and gave a short trill). Eventually, just before 7 AM, they flew north, perhaps to the liveoak roost.
PM. Saw one owl come off the liveoak perch at 5:44PM. However, I watched in vain for owls flying south down our driveway. Around 5:50PM, Connie pointed out an owl in the crepe myrtle, watching Evans front yard under the Christmas lights. Maybe it approached from the north via Evans house, rather than down our driveway. At 5:58PM, Connie pointed out to me that there was a big owl (the female, we guess), sitting on a hackberry limb over the driveway, sort of close to the myrtle, and rather high up. Later, I spotted flying squirrels running up and down the big carport pecan tree in Klein’s yard, and making short flights between trunks. This tree is completely bare of leaves now.
December 25, 2009
AM, T=32, cold and clear, and windy
6:47AM. Owl (male?) landed on external perch of box, sat for a while, finally entered. After fluffing the newly added shavings, he sat head-out for a bit and then flew north at 6:56AM. Water is frozen in the bird bath this morning. At 8:15AM, male arrived back at box, pursued by mob of frantic bluejays, and popped quickly inside. We wonder whether he was driven off his liveoak roost by the jays, or just decided to move (because of the cold?) and picked up the instant escort.
PM. We were at Pat’s for Christmas dinner; no observations.
December 24, 2009
AM, T=40, windy and cold
I opened the nest box to inspect, and found that almost all of the bedding material (wood shavings) had been removed. Last year we saw a flying squirrel making trips to pick up wood shavings and carry them away. Did a flying squirrel clean up the whole pile? Or was it merely the traffic of regular grey squirrels which might have exited with a few shavings clinging to them on each trip? I replaced the shavings, and also attempted to reinstall the short perch along the right-hand side wall.
December 23, 2009
AM, T=60, the humid and cloudy weather has returned
PM: cloudy, warmish, humid. Both owls left day roost in Trampoline Liveoak at 5:41pm and flew east. At 5:48pm, female flew south through Gap and landed on Stub Branch to hunt over the compost pile. Less than a minute later, male owl appeared from east of the shop and landed on Honda Branch. Female flew to external perch on nest box, did not look into box, but just scanned the world from the perch. 5:49pm, male dived east into Evans’s back yard. 5:51pm female dived north along the fence (toward sandbox area? Or east of shop?). At 5:53pm female reappeared, flying south again through Gap to land on Driveway Limb of hackberry, where she proceeded to eat the food (large insect or small reptile) which she was carrying. At 5:54 she flew west over the roof of our house, towards Van Ek’s.