March 31, 2015
AM, T=67, cloudier today; S wind
6:38am, Female out; back in within 5 minutes. 3 chicks, 1 egg
6:50am, tidbit from Male; 6:54am, larger tidbit, maybe nickel-sized. Female got to distribute this. Still, it’s not much to spend the day on.
2pm, Female is restless today; the 3 owlets are not. She has gotten up into the entrance several times, engaged in some descending trills.
PM, T=81, cloudy, windy
7:42pm, Monsieur delivers an insect tidbit to Madame. The sneaky devil–I never even saw him leave his day roost. I was still staring at a dark clump in the cherry laurel when he popped into the box with this insect (I think this might be the earliest food delivery we’ve seen from him).
7:48pm, she’s up in the entrance. 7:51pm, she’s back down, clucking to the owlets. 7:59pm, she’s up in the entrance again…and out at 8:01pm.
8:09pm, F comes back to the box, with the M arriving just on her tail. She quickly turns around to face him, and he hands off a food item, which is evidently large enough for her to take several minutes to feed to the eager owlets.
8:22pm, female has located some leftover piece of a bony carcass which she is laboriously stripping, with obvious effort and occasional tearing, popping noises. She is feeding the rasping owlets with whatever she is managing to tear off. Sound like tendon/ligament snack.
Let’s hope for something juicier! A june bug is buzzing outside the window.
8:43pm, male delivers a katydid.
9:10pm, tidbit from M
9:38pm, the rasping cry from the youngsters, faint whimpering from Madame. Not much to eat so far tonight. 10pm, still waiting.
March 30, 2015, 3 owlets, 1 egg
T=65, partly cloudy, calm
6:38 am, F left the box; she had been crunching some leftovers. Two eggs, two hatchlings, already looking fuzzier.
6:45am, F returned
6:47am, M sat on the inner perch to deliver and feed a tidbit
7:11am, M went to roost
PM, T=79F, sunny and gusty south wind
7:50pm, Female is still down on owlets and egg. Up in entrance at 7:51pm. I think I see three owlets. At any rate, I can only i.d. a single egg with confidence.
7:53pm, she’s back down again.
7:59pm, female is out of the box. Three owlets, for sure. They are piled together for warmth. Owlets are cheeping, but every so often I hear a hint of a food-begging rasp. C checked the sidewalk under the oak tree in front of van E’s porch (the F’s poop spot), and found a huge pellet, still warm! Also many poop splotches on the sidewalk.
8:18pm, F returns to box. She does not appear to be carrying food, but settles down on top of owlets, and they immediately get quiet again. I hear june bugs buzzing outside..
8:49pm, food delivery by M, followed by lots of rasping from owlets, and clucking from the female. She appears to be feeding the chicks, for a little while, at least.
9:30pm, looks like everybody is asleep. It’s time for a big meal delivery to wake things up ! 9:32pm, tiny bug delivery, which the female appears to consume (to regurgitate perhaps?).
9:38pm, another small something delivered. Oh, wow, it’s a little snake, still alive, 8” by 1/16” This will be a challenge for Madame to divide up!
March 29, 2015, Sunday, hatchlings
T=62F at 7am, beautiful, sunny day
6:59am, Monsieur delivered a bird piece to Madame, ate a bug or three on a perch in the Computer oak, and then retired to his day roost in the cherry laurel. On the nest-box microphone, I think I heard peeping inside an egg!
10am Female is wiggly and vocalizing a lot.
PM, T=75, sunny and gusty south wind
PM. 2:10 pm, female is in entrance, and we’re still seeing 4 eggs, and she gives a gentler version of egg shimmy.
5:20pm, there isthe first hatchling!
8:30pm, the F left the box and we see two hatchlings. She was back in 6 minutes. M left his roost and headed west in front of the house at dusk, heading for water.
C went outside to find out where he might be heading and found him in the van E oak. F returned from that direction also. Are they getting water from the van E’s pool? Or are they at the potting area/AC drip bucket on the west side of their property?
9:02pm, M brings the first food. It is big enough to be visible in his bill, but not big enough to dangle. She is vocalizing non-stop, tearing it up. I can’t see if she is eating it or feeding it. M is trilling from outside—does he have more? The sounds from the hatchling/s has change to a screechier sound. I suspect that both we and Madame will get pretty sick of it in time.
Yes, she is eating some of this. And I am hearing only one hatchling.
9:08pm, M delivers another mid-size portion. This one crunches like bone. I think the trilling earlier was to entice her out to share. Wise up, Poppa.
9:20pm Male delivers another fragment of bird. Owlets are already doing their food rasping, begging for food. This sounds amazingly similar to the food-rasping call they will be using after fledging, another month from now. Madame is tearing up the bird bits and feeding the owlets. I hear bones crunching from the dinner item.
9:42pm. The owlets are now quiet, and Madame has moved the bird carcass (pretty whole, minus the front end) to the far corner of the box, for later feeding times. I can’t I.D. the bird, but breast is very light-colored, whereas back seemed dark in the B&W image. Could it be a cedar waxwing ?
10:10pm, M delivers something small, but it seems to take a while to get the female’s attention.Is this his signal to take a few hours off?
10:30pm bedtime for us.
March 28, 2015. Saturday
T=59F, beautiful, sunny morning
No morning observations
PM: T= 78F at 8pm, after warm, sunny day
F was up in the entrance of nest box around 7:49pm, and then again around 7:53pm, but then got down on her eggs again. about
7:58pm, M shifted his branch in day roost, eventually flew to Computer oak, and then up over our house, Female is down on the floor of the nest box.
8:04pm she gets up in the nest-box entrance and then flies over our roof also. Will male show up with a food offering, now that she’s gone?
8:11pm, C reports an owl in the crepe myrtle; is it Himself? Yep ! male pops into nest box, trills twice, and leaves at 8:12pm.
8:13pm, female returns to nest box and settles down on her eggs. Junebugs buzzing outside. Feeding is getting off to a slow start tonight, since it’s now 8:38pm and no deliveries yet.
Madame is staring fixedly at the door.
8:47pm, she gets up and sits in the entrance.
Finally, at 8:52pm, first bug delivery. 8:57pm, second bug.
10:12, third bug
March 3, 2015
T=58 at 6 am, overcast, drippy and warm
F exited the box at 6:06am. Two minutes later, back inside. She has put a snack size portion of rat in the corner for later. We are particularly struck by how artfully the tail drapes over the eggs.
PM, warm, windy day, T=75F at 6:15pm. We’re expecting another cold front tomorrow afternoon, but tonight should be good for insect hunting.
6:19pm. F gives a long, rattly monotonic trill, and then begins with her little-squeaky food-begging call. The M roosted today in the nearby cherry laurel.
He left his roost at 6:38pm and flew west, disappearing past the computer oak. She left the box at 6:45pm, and flew west over our house, towards van Ek’s.
6:50pm, they were back in the driveway. The M made one visit to the box, during the female’s absence, and entered. He may have been carrying food, because later she showed up in the crepe myrtle, and he fed her.
7:25pm, they were to-and-fro-ing in the driveway and crepe myrtle area. It is a beautiful, warm night with full moon, and racing clouds. She might stay out of the box a long time tonight.
8 pm, F got a tidbit from the M, both on the Prius branch. 9pm, she’s still outside.
March 2, 2015, egg#2
T=50 at 6 am, overcast
There isn’t much to report today. F has been on top of her egg/eggs the whole time. She spent from 6:20-6:40 am begging in a quiet descending trill, but the dumb boy owl never delivered a thing. His current whereabouts is unknown–not in the cherry laurel. I haven’t been over to the Art Pk to check yet.
The only difference I notice is that she is doing the full on egg shimmy now, which makes me think egg #2 is under there.
Birds are calling and squirrels racing around, F is silent.
Female is in the box, with two eggs.
PM, T=59, misty
8:34pm, M delivered a katydid and fed it to the F. We did not witness what must have been a bird delivery, but at 9pm, the male owl was sitting in the tree below the nest box, and the female was ripping something, and crunching and snapping bones. Correction–it was not a bird, it was a RAT! This is maybe the first time we’ve observed a rodent as part of the menu in our boxes, although JP’s box on Bayland St. has seen rats on several occasions.