Friday, March 14, 2008

Screech Owl Tenant

I came home from work this morning to discover that an Eastern screech owl had claimed the nest box Jim and I built last fall. My heart leapt when I saw his adorable face peeking out of the hole, dark eye brows furrowed on a gray face. I wanted to try to get a picture so I trodded up the hill and took a shot from the top. Not satisfied with such a long-distance photo I decided to try to get closer. I walked down the hill toward the nest box and when I looked up again the owl was gone! Oh no! It's true that owls are silent fliers because I never heard his wings at all.

I gave up on the owl photo shoot and went to bed. When I got up this afternoon I looked out the bedroom window to see if he was back in the nest box, but he wasn't. Rats! I looked down the length of the field at the wood duck box mounted in an ash tree 650 feet away in the fence row to see if anything was going on and, lo and behold, a little gray owl face was poking out of the entrance hole! So...he left the box with the pesky neighbor (me) and opted for the larger condo with no neighbors at all. Smart owl! The photo shows him in the first box. Below is the wood duck box. I wonder which one will become the nest site?

We all grabbed binocs and took turns looking at the owl, who we named "Oscar". He was enjoying a nap in the duck box and seemed quite pleased with his choice of domicile. I'm beside myself with glee knowing that with all the choices of nest sites in our trees, Oscar chose one of the boxes we hung!

We are looking forward to seeing Oscar's mate, and with any luck we'll be able to watch them raise a family. And of course we are happy to have nature's best rodent control nesting here on the Twelve Acres!


  1. AWESOME congrats! I have been trying to attract Screech Owls but haven't had much luck. I guess I'll have to experience the owls through your owls this year.

  2. Owlman, thank you! The owls were here before us, so I can't say we attracted them, but we are able to offer them what they need and it's such a blessing to see them choose our nest boxes!

    You can be sure I will be watching them very closely and posting updates!

  3. Amy, lucky you. I look forward to updates. Will you still like him when he eats your baby chicks though? :)

  4. Kathie, not to worry about the chicks. They will be well protected inside the coop at night and the run will have hawk netting covering it to keep Bonnie and Clyde, Cooper and Oscar from helping themselves to a free chicken dinner! The raptors will always come first in my book, the chickens second. If I do lose a chicken or two to the raptors I won't be mad. I might even feel a little bit good about helping them find a meal.

  5. Amy, you are one benevolent bird host!


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