Owl Timeline Images
|5/21/2010 The fourth and last owlet left the box this evening.
I thought it might be a day or two but once they start leaving they all seem to exit quickly.
He sat in the doorway most of the day and was there this evening for a few pictures.
He returned into the box for about an hour, fussed around and then lept to the doorway at about 8:10.
I didn't hear him vocalizing anymore and so went out to investigate.
It had been about a minute since he had left the floor of the box but was not in the doorway.
A wren chirping heavily flew out of the trees next to the nestbox.
I searched the ground and bushes around the tree but he was nowhere to be found.
Both owl adults flew around me vocalizing so I know he was nearby but obviously safe in the adjacent thick trees which are only about 6 feet from the nestbox.
I watched the owlcam for a couple of hours after he flew and no adults entered the box so they knew where he was and that they had no more kids to feed at the nest.
So no more owlcam uploads this year.
I may upload some more captures and videos to show the nesting progression.
All in all a very successful owling season with four owlets safely in the upper trees. The parents did very well and I hope to see members of the family during the coming year.
It was a learning experience for me and very rewarding spending my evenings listening to and watching the owls living their secret lives in my backyard. Hopefully I can make some improvements to the nestbox and owlcam for next year. Thanks for joining us.
|5/20/2010 Well, I thought it would be a day or two until any other owlet left the nestbox but I was wrong.
During the day when the owlcam captures got dark you knew an owlet was in the doorway blocking the light. We started the day with two owlets in the box doing well.
Later about 3:30 we had one owlet in a dark owlbox. A few minutes later we had a bright box but only one owlet. When I got home and checked one owlet was in the box
and the other was outside on the perch in front. I hadn't seen them do that before. I quickly took pictures and left him alone. I checked every ten minutes or so
and finally saw him about 7:00 going up the owlrail. I took more images and he finally made into the safety of the tree. He sat on the bar in the tree for a while with the fourth owlet
in the nestbox doorway. They called back and forth continually. I left them alone for a while and when I came back out a bird flew by and landed in an adjacent tree.
It was an adult owl guarding it's young. I saw the owlet had climbed up into the tree branches and the fourth owl was still in the doorway of the box.
Three owlets safely up and one to go I'm glad the owlrail is working so well.
This evening I saw the fourth owlet being fed at least 4 times. One of the times it looked like he refused the food. Picky kid or maybe too full....
|5/19/2010 Well, tonight around 8:45 two owlets left the nest box.
We aren't sure when or how the first left but the second we saw walk right up the wood bar I installed to safety in the adjacent tree.
It took him about 5 minutes with the parents calling to him as he went.
A search on the ground surrounding the nest tree yielded no owlets so I would assume the first made it up the bar safely as well.
This left two in the box and the largest of the two immediately took up residence in the opening.
The last owlet is a bit smaller so it may be a few days before he ventures outside.
The parents will continue to feed their brood both in the box and out and at 9:29 I saw one of the owlets get fed at the doorway.
The last two owlets have much more space now as they continue to grow and mature.
|5/18/2010 The owlets continue to grow and become more mature in body and actions.
They are darkening as their mature feathers grow in. They are now leaping up to the opening
where before they had been awkward struggling to reach the doorway. I have not seen the egg since I left for vacation.
The smallest owlet is aggressive and is receiving at least his share of the food if not more.
When I go out into the yard the owlets are often in the doorway watching me, with
Mom still perching 6 feet from the box guarding the kids. Hopefully tomorrow the first owlet will
leave the nest to branch in the trees and receive his food there. The parents are doing a fine job
and even with the heavy thunderstorm we had yesterday the adults showed up to feed the kids.
I did see one of the adults come all the way into the box to deliver food but it didn't stay long.
The owlets presently spend part of their day searching the floor of the box for food.
|5/16/2010 Well, what a difference a week makes. The owlets are much bigger than they were on the 8th.
They look like real owls now just a bit fuzzy. They really fill the box and are much more active than before.
I did get the wood bar up that goes from the box to an adjacent tree so hopefully when the owls exit the box they will follow the bar to safety.
They leave before they can fly and are called "branchers" at that time. The two oldest of the kids climb up into the doorway now to
take in the big world. They know food comes through the hole so good things await them outside. The parents must be feeding them through the opening
as there is not much room in the box. All is right on schedule and the owlets should start to leave the nest Wednesday or so but it could be anytime now.
Owlets getting even bigger and one owlet in the opening. Owlets getting even bigger and one owlet in the opening. (Mac users)
|5/4/2010 - 5/5/2010 It's very hot here now. The female leaves the box around noon and stays in a tree
about 6 feet from the box. She spends more time hunting now during the night to keep all the kids fed. With four mouths to feed
both parents are staying very busy. The owlets are growing very fast but it's still hard to believe they could be flying in a little over 2 weeks.
One of the owlets is still noticably smaller than the others but all appear very healthy. The kids move around a lot during the day now and don't seem
to talk as much as before but when they do it's louder and deeper. I will be leaving for vacation on Saturday and hope to have a wood bar in place for the
owlets to climb to safety before I go. I also need to take the sheet metal down around the tree so they can climb up the tree if need be.
|5/3/2010 More behavioral change today. The female sat in the window for a large part of the morning.
Then at around noon she left the box not to return until about 5:00. I'm sure she was close by to intercept any visitors. This would be cooler for her and give more space to the
owlets. There was no prey in the box. I saw one owlet exhibit flying attempts today on the floor of the box flapping it's wings.
The owlets are standing more than laying on their faces as they have done in the past. The female was gone again this evening and the male fed the kids continually.
She came and went as well and then later showed up with a bird. The owlets all went crazy trying to get their fair share of the food.
The kids voices are getting deeper and more raspy. Everything is right on schedule for the owls.
|5/2/2010 The previous owl parenting patterns continue with the female spending the days in the box
but a large part of that time is with her sitting in the opening. In the evening she is gone a lot but the male continues to feed
the owlets. When the female returns she is continually feeding the kids. Sometime during the night another prey bird was acquired
and the owl family fed on it all day with the female finally removing it about 9:00 in the evening.
|5/1/2010 Neither parent spent a lot of time in the box during the evening. The female left at dusk and
went back and forth but spent at least half that time away from the box. The male successfully fed the owlets at least 8 times observed.
The female removed the prey birds from the box last night. She subsequently brought something large back to feed the kids
from(it may have been the same bird) but by morning there was nothing large in the nest. She picked at the floor of the box during the day
looking for tidbits. She also spent a number of hours just sitting in the nestbox entrance. This gives her fresh air and the kids more space.
When she is on the floor the owlets tend to back up right next to her. All is proceeding well.
|4/29/2010- 4/30/2010 The female now takes long trips in the evening away from the nest box.
She took at least two observed that were 30 minutes long.
During her absence the male would come and feed the owlets. Small prey deliveries were the norm for the evening but sometime during the night
the owls acquired one and maybe two Cedar Waxwings. They fed on the birds during the day. We still have four owlets and one egg although the female doesn't
brood the egg much anymore. Two owlets appear to have open eyes and they all are growing rapidly.
One of the owlets appears smaller but it is an appropriate size for it's age being the last hatched. They are now walking around the nest
and the box appears crowded, especially with prey cached in the corners.
|4/28/2010 There was a slight behavioral change with the adults today. The female spent quite a bit
of time outside the box this evening. She left at dusk and was gone for about 30 minutes. Later around 8:30 she took an additional 45 minute sabbatical outside
the box. The owlets are bigger now requiring less brooding and she may be giving up on the egg. Also it was warmer today and she may have just wanted to cool off.
The male appeared surprised she wasn't there and he successfully fed
his children a number of times. He showed up about 5 times with food the first time she left the box.
The female hunted as well and came back with a treat for the kids.
|4/27/2010 All is going well for the owl family. We still have one unhatched egg
and it will probably remain so. The adults already have four little mouths to feed so that's just fine. Mrs. Owl still broods the egg
so maybe it will hatch yet. I can't tell if any eyes are open, the resolution of the camera is not that good but the owlets
are spending more time standing than laying down now.
The youngest talks a lot and bumps into it's older siblings. Mr Owl brought food every ten minutes or so for a while last night but all
the viewed prey was small. It would be good to get something big to feed the family during the day.
The female has begun to leave for short periods to hunt herself now. The parents are doing a fine job.
|4/26/2010 Another good day for the owls. We still have four owlets and one egg.
Perhaps the first owlets eyes will open tomorrow. The male delivered bugs and geckos tonight and the female left a few times
for about 6 minutes each. The food demands of the family are pretty high but the two owls are good hunters and the owlets seem to be growing fast.
The owlets continue to talk up a storm.
|4/25/2010 So far today we see the sparrow still in the box. Mrs Owl will remove it eventually
when it is no longer useful. We also see significantly more egg shell fragments indicating that perhaps another egg has hatched.
- When Mrs Owl left for her evening siesta it was evident that one of the remaining eggs had indeed hatched and we now have 4 owlets and
one egg left. The male is stepping up the food deliveries and all goes well for the owls. It will be interesting to see if the remaining egg
|4/24/2010 Still holding at three owlets and two eggs. Sometime during the night the male brought in sparrow
for his family. Previously we had only seen snakes, geckos and bugs. This allows the female to cache the food in a far corner of the box
and then feed the young all day long as needed. The owlets are getting more active and their eyes should open after 6 days.
|4/23/2010 We now have three little owlets with two eggs remaining.
The owlets are getting more active and vocal and the mother is moving around a lot more not just sitting on them as much.
She sat in the doorway for a while this evening before dark and then actively tried to feed her young. The male arrived uncalled for and she took food from him
at the door.
|4/22/2010 Two owlets are seen and heard with three eggs remaining. Unknown if any of the eggs are duds or not.|
|4/21/2010 The first chirping of an owlet is heard. I suspect the 30 degree nights that the first two eggs had to endure may have done them in. This would be a long time for the initial eggs to incubate. Time will tell.|
|4/18/2010 Still 5 hard little eggs and no owlet. Should be very soon now.|
|4/13/2010 The female continues to sit, and the male feeds her.
We should be at 26 days on the 14th or 15th of April at which time the first of the eggs may hatch.
* Chris Johnson of Austin says his owls typically hatch at about 29 days so that takes us to Saturday May 17.
His owlcam here is very good.
|4/6/2010 All is proceeding nicely for the owls. She diligently attends to her clutch and he hunts for the family at night.
Sometimes he comes into the box to feed her, sometimes he feeds her at the doorway and sometimes if he has something large they fly off together to feed elsewhere.
Screech owls will cache food as well for use later. At times I find presents in my birdbath.
|4/2/2010 The female continues to sit and the male feeds her at night. Holding at 5 eggs.
|4/1/2010 The female only leaves the box for about 5 minutes at dusk and dawn.
|3/30/2010 The male continues to feed the female in the box- meals including bugs and geckos.|
|3/29/2010 The fifth egg arrives and the male is observed feeding the female in the box.|
|3/27/2010 Female lays the fourth egg and stays in the nest almost continually with only short absences at night.|
|3/24/2010 Third egg arrives.|
|3/22/2010 Second egg laid.|
|3/20/2010 First egg laid.|
|3/18/2010 Female owl spent first day in box.|