April 18, 2010
AM, T=66, moderately cloudy, rain in the forecast.
4:50am, Female is ripping up bird chunks from a piece beneath her and feeding two chicks visible under her right wing (video)
5:40am, F out of the box, exposing a huddle of chicks; as they shifted around they revealed the egg—so it is still three chicks and one egg (video).
5:48am, F returned to the box and settled in
6:35am F left box, returning at 6:36am. Connie reports male in Birdfeeder Tree (headed for a bath?). Time for a couple of sips of water from the dish, then back to the canopy near the nest box.
6:53am, the male is busted from his roost by a bluejay and takes refuge in the boy box.
PM, T=68F, overcast, moist, following rain in afternoon
7:55am. Male left Boy Box, flew south to Crepe Myrtle, then to Computer Oak.
8:02pm Female left nest box. In her absence, there was a clear view of three owlets, huddled together for warmth. No sign of fourth owlet, or of egg (either could be against back wall, of course.)
8:20pm Female returned to nest box, apparently carrying something which she fed immediately to owlets.
8:36pm. Raining. How will this affect hunting?
April 17, 2010
AM, T=67, cloudy and windy
4am Mom dragged in a bird and fed it to owlets (video). Could not see an egg, but it might be pushed to the back
5:45am, Male trilling from outside, just once; ignored
6:05am, Male trilled once quietly; female got off the chicks and went out the door. It is clear we have 3 chicks and still one egg. Within 2 min. the F returned with a large chunk of bird, cached it and settled back down on the nestlings. Clearly, the M did the hunting and dismembering—there was no time for the female to have done it.
6:30am, Male trilling from outside; F left the box—nestlings are quiet, all in a row
6:38am, the M came to the entrance but found no F to deliver to, so left again.
8:41am, F is back, with something small to eat in her beak. We found cedar waxwing feathers on the driveway this morning; favorite owl prey?
3pm, Female gave one long cackle from inside box. It has been a while since I heard an egg clunking on the floor.
7:41pm, F hopped to the entrance. Still one unhatched egg! Owlets piled together, presumably for warmth. 7:43pm, F back in the box.
8:04pm, F trilled from inside box. Didn’t hear M trill.
8:14pm, F left the box. 8:20pm, an owl returned and hopped to the floor for just a second to check on chicks, then back out—could have been the M looking for the F. She returned to stay at 8:24pm.
8:33pm, F snapped at an annoying fly. I think she got him.
8:34pm, moth delivery.
8:40pm. F eating something crunchy.
Midnight, F left the box in response to trilling male; three chicks and one egg still
April 16, 2010
AM, T=68, humid w/low cloud cover, breezy from E
5:30am, F returned to the nest box, greeted by cheeping/squeaking/chirping. Only heard all this, so have no visual confirmation of how many chicks have hatched. There are two large bird pieces cached at the front of the box (qv).
6:45am, as I am sitting here writing this I hear the staccato alarm calls of the cardinals in the backyard. Went to check: the male owl is bathing in the water dish. It is very light out.
6:50am, M has taken up his morning position above and behind the nestbox.
7:05am, F pulled over one of the cached pieces and snacked. This did not include feeding hatchlings
7:13pm, cache snacking and crunching in progress.
7:47pm, Mom finally moved to the entrance and K could see 3 owlets and 1 unhatched egg.
8:07pm, F left for 7 minutes.
8:22pm, Dad brought a moth, judging by the scales floating around as Mom ate.
April 15, 2010
AM, T=63, drippy and very humid, east breeze.
I can hear the tiny cheepy squeaking again, and the female is clucking softly; also snapping at what might be mosquitoes in the box.
5:40am, male trilling softly from outside the box. F remains on the eggs/hatchling(s).
5:44am, male trilling softly from outside the box
6:16am, M delivered something to the F; she got up into the entrance to retrieve it, revealing a hatchling, two eggs and the possible curve of a third against the back wall. The food bit is part of a bird, which she tore and crunched, ate part of and is now feeding to a cheeping owlet underneath her. Food is cached at the front of the box.
9:00am, Female is eating eggshell, by the sound of it. This is either the shell of the first chick or another has hatched underneath there.
2:30pm, there are two hatchlings now.
PM, T=72, much breezier than this morning
The male was in his day roost under the grapevine. Around 7:50pm, female got up in the entrance, giving a view of the box floor. Only one egg was visible, which could indicate either that three owlets have hatched, or alternatively that one egg has gotten pushed to the back again, just out of view of the camera. Owlets are peeping off and on. It will be interesting to see if female leaves the box this evening, or just continues to brood the owlets.
Okay, both questions answered: at 8:20pm, male came to the box and called the female outside for a meal. She was gone for 8 minutes, but it was clear that we still have two owlets and two eggs. She didn’t carry any food item inside with her when she came back.
At 10pm, owlets are cheeping regularly. Haven’t seen them get fed, but maybe infrequent feeds are enough when they are this small.
10:38pm, male delivered a gecko. Female took it and either ate it or is feeding it to her wigglers. There appear to be more carcase and feathers than earlier this evening. She has a cache.
April 14, 2010
AM, T=64, calm w/patchy coastal clouds
6:25am, female is out; 4 eggs
6:33am, male delivered something to the box; watching from the bedroom window, I could hear her chitter as he went into the box to hand it off. Exited to the back yard. So I went to peek at the water dish and sure enough, here comes the M. Perched on the edge, hopped in and sipped, gradually got more and more of his belly into it until he was splashing. Preened on birdfeeder branch.
6:40am, returned to the nestbox area, way up above the box over the compost—heard a pellet hit the leaves. Moved to the day roost right behind and 10 ft from the box. Does this mean hatching today?
8:40am, intermittent soft clucking from the female
PM, T=71, much breezier than this morning
Sometime during the day the M shifted to the Grapevine roost. The female has clucked in short bouts repeatedly, every hour or less (I am at the computer doing taxes, so I am around to hear it). We wonder if she is communicating with an incipient hatchling beneath her, or with the male outside. She is restless, poking around under her and shimmying.
8:03pm, the M left his roost, dropping to sit in the hackberry. Flew then to the cherry laurel. Not seen since.
8:08pm, F left the nestbox. There are still four eggs. There is a squeaky sound coming from the microphone, whether from inside the box or out I can’t tell. It wouldn’t surprise me to find there is a 5th egg hatchling against the wall. Or maybe the sound is coming from an emerging owlet.
8:20pm, F returned to the eggs; the squeaking sound has stopped.
April 13, 2010
AM, T=62F, clear, though hazy
6:30am, owl in the drinking dish; when it flew at 6:34am I heard the thump and scratch of the female returning to the nest box. When I looked out the back door there was an owl on the Birdfeeder branch. So which one was at the drinking dish—the male or the female? M was in Grapevine Roost east of the shop again today.
PM. T=70F, cool with high clouds
Male left his day roost at 8:03pm, flying due west over the roof of the shop. Two minutes later, female left nest box (8:05pm). We still have four eggs. Female returned and settled onto her eggs at 8:13pm. When she disturbs the shavings in bottom of the nest, lots of moth wing scales fly around like little dust motes.
8:38pm Moth delivered by the male.
April 12, 2010
AM, T=58F, light cloudiness, tiny sickle moon in the E
5:44am, Female out of the nest box; 4 eggs visible
6:18am, Female back in the box, no sign of the male.
PM, T=73F, south wind again
Could not spot the male in his day roost, but assume he was east of the shop, under the grapevine again (?). Did not see him leave his roost. However, at 8:03pm, there was a thump on the nest box and the male called the female outside, presumably with some food item. We still have four eggs. She did not return until 8:10pm.
At 8:13pm there was an insect delivery by the male.
8:32 Big moth (Luna moth?) delivered by the male.
April 11, 2010, Sunday
AM. T=54F, cool with high clouds
No morning obsvn
PM, T=71F, south wind again
8:02pm, Male left his roost in the vine-covered tree just E of the shop, going west over the garage roof.
Female left the box; she had a nice long break, til 8:19pm. Just prior to her return she hunted in the upper canopy (for moths?) around the Honda branch and nest box.
Neither owl came to the water dish in back this evening
9pm; moth delivery to the female
April 10, 2010 Saturday
AM. T=54F, cool with high clouds
No obsvn AM
PM, T=70 gorgeous day
April 9, 2010
AM, 6:15am Male landed on box, female trilled, expecting food perhaps, but male was apparently just there for a visit. Male roosted today east of the shop. It would be interesting to know why he has moved farther from the nest box for his day roost.
PM, T=64, clear
8:02pm, female left the nest box, returning via the driveway hackberry and the Honda Branch, at about 8:10pm.
8:14pm. Female left the box, apparently called out by the male for food. Something large? She returned and settled down on the eggs again at 8:17pm. A minute later, there was a mysterious hissing sound, and she jumped up into the entrance and perched head-out until 8:26pm. I spotted a big black cat walking on the top of the fence, but could not account for the hiss, nor for the female’s response.
9:11pm, moth delivery by male, w/trilling. A quick succession of food deliveries followed: 9:35pm, 9:38pm, 9:39pm.