February 22, 2014
This time (Saturday morning, 6:30 AM), it was an owl, rather than a flying squirrel, fluffing the shavings. We’re guessing it was the female, but are a little unsure, because we had been seeing two owls flitting from tree to tree between 6:15 and 6:30. For a little while, both owls were sitting on the perch just outside the East box, so we couldn’t really see which one popped inside the box. At 6:35, they both flew off to their day roost, which is in some unknown location east and north of us. Well, we don’t know if we’ll actually have nesting in a box this year, but at least they know where the boxes are. Keep your fingers crossed ! (For all we know, the two owls may be the same sex; this IS the Heights, after all).
February 20, 2014
This guy (or gal) visited the owl box last night, and spent quite a long time grooming, burrowing into the shavings, and curling up like a ball. I was a bit surprised by this enthusiasm, since it is a very warm night (not one in which a flying squirrel would need shelter). At some point he/she started stuffing cheek pouches with the nicest wood shavings (photo 2). We’ve seen this sort of shavings raid before . I kept wondering what would happen if an owl happened to check the box. Sure enough, there was a thump on the outside of the box. The squirrel panicked and leapt out. I have no idea what happened outside.