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March 3, 2017
AM, T=50F; wind coming around to the east.
6:20am; Madame is in the box. Went out to watch for the male. He was high in the shop hackberry. By the time I settled myself on the steps he had disappeared. Drat. I didn’t even see what direction he headed. But it wasn’t much longer before I heard the distinctive rustling plop of him diving into his palm leaves for the day.
Coolish, out on the driveway for lunch.
Missed PM owl time—
March 2, 2017
6:20AM; T=52F; high cirrus, cool day and very blue sky.
We got up early but could not locate the male’s day roost. He doesn’t seem to have been drawn to the newly installed boy box and isn’t anywhere else obvious. Perhaps he is back in his usual palm roost.
The male must have been in the palm. He came to the ivy tree/thistle branch at 6:35pm and hunted around there and in the twin lights of Jost’s apt bathroom window and the Klein floodlight. Looks like an insect night. The female never came out of her box.
8PM, one small bug for Madame—a flurry of moth scales fills the air.
March 1, 2017
7AM, T=73F, light misty drizzle gave way to calm low clouds.
6:15am; Turned on the cam to see Mme was out of the box; we can clearly see two chicks and one egg. I went out to sit on the shop steps, curious to see where the male would roost now that he has a box of hatchlings.
6:25am, F returned over the roof to her nestbox, coming from the N-NW. Male came to the Prius branch.
6:35am, M went to the cherry laurel, hidden from me behind a tree trunk. I gave it 5 minutes—saw no further flight—and went inside. In 10 min more I went up the drieway, stared hard at the laurel but couldn’t find the male. I then checked the burr oak (sometimes a roost) but ditto. So I turned and went back up the driveway toward the garage and there he was—sitting on the top of the extension ladder leaning up against the house where T is repairing the roof. Too funny. I hope neither T nor Ar needs that ladder today.
PM; a cool front is moving in tonight. At 6:40pm the male flew east from his ladder perch.
6:46pm female flew from the nestbox to meet the male in the computer oak.
7:30pm; We saw one insect delivery to the box
Tom hung the ‘boy box’ over the north window of the weaving room, facing the nestbox, to see if it would lure the male from his ladder perch. This was done in the dark, to leave him undisturbed during the day.
February 28, 2017
AM T=71F; warm, moist, ESE breeze.
Grackles and blackbirds are showing up in the Art Park now. Ick. On the nest Ms Owl seems to be paying close attention to the bottom of the box. Cheeping is louder—one egg certainly hatched. The “egg shimmy” is gone—she wouldn’t want to abrade her new chick.
If we are right about the laying date (Jan 30) then this chick hatched in 28 or 29 days. Gehlbach says about 30 days on average, not less than 27, not more than 34.
10:30am; Madame is eating an egg shell; you can hear the lighter crunching. And we can hear a lighter peeping, too. I think we have hatch number two.
Male was in his usual palm day roost.
February 27, 2017 first hatched
We saw anoles out and about today. Also a red-shouldered hawk circling at mid-day, and black-colored swallowtails. The oak trees are erupting in catkins. Some, but not all, hackberry branches on the nest tree are sprouting new leaves.
5pm; We turned on the owl cam and heard Madame clucking quietly. We think we also hear faint cheeping—an egg ready to hatch?
Owl time; unusual behavior from the female: she didn’t leave the nestbox at dusk. Instead she moved carefully around, clucking to the eggs. We could definitely hear muted cheeping, either inside the egg or now hatched.
6:41pm, male trilling in the shop hackberry. Flew east over the shop roof. Will he now change his day roost location or will he stay with the palm?
One bug and one gecko (sm video) delivered while we ate dinner.
February 11 and 12, 2017
Saturday and sunday
Oyster fest near Rockport. We had sandhill cranes overhead while having coffee on the porch both mornings. We heard the whoopers, too, and went to see them in the neighbors place. There were 5 of them, including a brown-headed juvenile at the meadow, along with the sandhills, egrets, spoonbills and flocks of whistling ducks. There was a ladder-backed woodpecker in the pond area of G&W’s property (female).
On Sunday on the way home we stopped for coffee on the Colorado River (off 521). We watched a pelican gracefully, clumsily, dive and swallow mullet every 100′ down the river. A fruitful stretch.
February 10, 2017
Friday; 7AM T=59F; overcast, warmer and moister
6:19am, female is in the box, amid a pile of bird feathers.
6:45am, she came to drink at the water dish, watched by the male from the orchid branch. He hunted around there a bit but we never saw him drink.
Drove to Lamar in the afternoon for Oyster Fest with G and W. Saw redtails, caracara and a Swainson’s hawk. Finally saw some sandhill cranes south of Danevang.
February 9, 2017
Thursday; AM T=52F; clear cool morning.
Ms Owl was sitting in a pile of feather, having evidently enjoyed a hearty meal some time during the wee hours. Last night was bright with moonlight from a waxing moon.
PM; Gorgeous, clear, cool breezy day.
T=64F at 7pm; full moon tonight.
6:25pm, male left his day roost and hunted at the side of the house on the canoe rack. Female planed down out of her box to low in the Klein pecan. The male hunted for her, diving to the ground by the faucet, then up to the fence. 6:30pm; he fed her and had chittering owl sex. Flew off down the driveway and the female remained in the pecan.
6:35pm; male returned to the shop hackberry, trilling.
6:40pm; Went back to hunting in our driveway by the computer oak. Madame grabbled a bit from him on the Prius branch and then returned to the box.
6:52pm Male deivered food to the box
7:53pm; Madame eating her cached bird bit.
7:58pm; female left the box, returning at 8:03pm. Katydid at 8:04pm
February 8, 2017
AM T=72F; scattered low clouds
6:15am; male on the Prius branch hunting the compost area
6:40am; male went to the pecan in back. 6:48 he took to the water dish and jumped in to bathe, have a drink, preen briefly on the orchid branch and then head to his roost in the palm tree.
6:49am, female is in the entrance of the box for about 30 seconds, long enough to count 3 eggs and part of a bird fragment.
PM, little cold front came in tonight—windy and delightfully cool
Missed owl time; we were at Moontower Inn. Female was in her box when we came home
February 7, 2017
Tuesday; AM T=71; cloudy, south breeze
Female is on the eggs by the time we got up, so we don’t know if we have another one. Sort of doubt it at this point, with 7 days since the first one..
7:30-8:30am; lots of doves cooing and cracking wings. Gibbous moon.
PM; unseasonably warm at 79F, 7pm.
Lots of crazy owl action tonight (T missing his watch, so no times recorded). When I (T) stumbled out the back door around 6:25pm the female was already out of the box and giving food-begging cries from somewhere close (probably a low branch of the pecan. As I sat on the shop steps I couldn’t believe my ears: box calls coming from the low box! This with three eggs secure in the high box. What is he thinking?? A few minutes later the male left the low box, heading north and reappearing on the gate, three feet from my face as I sat on the steps. He scanned the ground under the bedroom window, then turned and flew toward the thistle branch. Meanwhile, in the driveway a squirrel was traversing the nestbox tree, maybe 2/3 of the height of the box. An owl appeared in the crepe myrtle. My impression was that the squirrel might actually be about to head off to the northeast via St’s yard. But the watching owl flew straight up from the myrtle and knocked that squirrel right off its limb! The squirrel fell 25ft to the ground. Thud. (Later I went over with a flashlight to check for the corpse, but of course rubber squirrel had bounced up unscathed.)
Mosquitoes were unbelievably bad at dusk, but declined to mere nuisance status as it got later.
Female back in the box at 6:46pm; food deliveries at 6:48pm, 6:53pm. Saw 2 or 3 more via cam.