2017



March 29  It Was Stormy Last Night

Olivia took her usual 8 pm break and was gone for ten minutes.  About fifteen minutes later she left again for just a few minutes.  I didn’t hear Alton calling her, but he might have.  He delivered a gecko to Olivia at 10:30 pm. 
There was a thunderstorm overnight with rain starting around 1:30 am and ending at 4:30 or 5 am.  We got about an inch of rain.  I’m sure that impacted Alton’s ability to locate food.

Olivia alerted to Alton’s call at 5:30 am and left the box for a few minutes.  At 6 am Alton delivered a caterpillar.  At 6:40 Olivia left the box for six minutes and returned with a caterpillar.

Olivia continues to tend her eggs carefully.  The first laid egg is 22 days old.  It will likely hatch in 8 – 10 days.  I know we are all looking forward to that.



March 28  More Food Last Night

It was another warm night in Jollyville.  The 5:30 pm temperature was 87F, so when Olivia left the box at 8 pm, she stayed out for nearly 25 minutes.  Five minutes after she returned, she heard Alton outside in the tree calling to her, so she left for two minutes.

All was quiet for three hours.  Alton showed up with a frog at 11:30 pm.  At 12:30 am he delivered a lizard.  At 5:00 he brought a snake for Olivia.

Between 6:20 and 6:50 am, Olivia left the box three times.  The temperature was still 73F, but each time she returned after only a few minutes.  On her last trip she returned with a moth.


At 7:11, when it was already light enough for humans to see, Alton delivered a caterpillar.




March 27  We Do Have Four Eggs


There Are Four Eggs!
Here is a photo that shows conclusively that Olivia and Alton have four eggs.  I saw video early on March 15 that made me pretty sure, but I haven’t been able to see all four eggs at one time.  Until early this morning.  You can see three eggs clearly.  The curve of the fourth egg is visible at the bottom, in front of the left egg. 
Alton Delivers A Snake 3/23
Olivia Jumps to The Perch


During the night, Alton delivered a caterpillar, a spider, and a small frog.  Here's a photo of a snake he delivered a few days ago.


Olivia left the box as usual around 8 pm for about 10 minutes. She also left on seven other occasions during the night.  In six of those departures, Alton was in the tree nearby and could be heard calling to her.  Hopefully he had food for her.  Each time she returned within several minutes. 
Olivia On the Perch
The other occasion she departed during the night was after Alton delivered the spider.  He sat in the doorway for a few minutes and so Olivia jumped up, bumped him out and left too.  It was raining at the time so perhaps she wanted to take a bath.
Olivia Drops to The Floor
I thought these photos of Olivia were rather nice. I’ve grabbed them recently as I’ve been reviewing the video.  Hope you enjoy them.






March 26  Where’s The Food Alton?

Olivia left the box at 8:05 pm for 10 minutes.  An hour later she left again for 12 minutes.
Alton showed up at 10:45 pm with a moth.  He stayed in the doorway for 15 minutes, which was very unusual. He often leaves in just a moment or two. He returned at 2:30 am with a gecko and stayed in the doorway for 7 minutes.

At 5:20 Alton returned with a bug.  He sat on the perch after delivering it.  After a couple of minutes, Olivia jumped up onto the perch with him.  I watched her lean forward and nudge Alton.  When that didn’t have any effect, she did it again.  He jumped to the doorway.  After another minute, he left and Olivia dropped to the floor.

At 6:08 Alton delivered another bug.
Olivia left the box at 6:30 for 10 minutes.  At 6:50 Alton delivered another moth.


Two moths, two bugs and a gecko are the sum total of food deliveries for the night.  That doesn’t seem like much food.  Olivia doesn’t seem perturbed though.   Maybe I am expecting too much.



March 25   Supplemental Feeding – But Who Enjoyed It?

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’ve been a bit concerned about whether Olivia is getting enough to eat.  Then, the night of March 22/23 he delivered a good quantity of food.  However, the next night, March 23/24 he didn’t show up until after 4 am and only brought a few small food items.
It seems to me she needs more food than that.  So, I provided a large mouse and a medium rat, placed on a tree branch in front of the box before dark last night, and waited.  At 8:02 pm, Olivia flew out of the box and landed on the tree branch.  She chose the rat and flew back to the box.  She ate for about five minutes.  During this time, I could hear Alton nearby, making short intermittent calls to Olivia, but he did not approach the nest box.  Then she picked up the rat in her mouth and jumped to the perch.  She had only eaten a small amount.  She transferred it to her claw and jumped to the doorway. She flew away with it down the street.

In about two minutes, an owl landed on the branch and picked up the mouse.  It flew off in the same direction.  I presume it was Olivia again, but can’t be sure.
Two minutes later, Olivia landed on the branch and checked it for more rodents.  Finding none, she flew into the box.  So, in less than fifteen minutes, Olivia gave away both choice food items and returned home.

I guess she took them to Alton.  I’m not sure why she didn’t keep them to stock her pantry. 
Last night Alton only made two food deliveries – a caterpillar around 10 pm and a gecko around 11:30. 

Olivia left the box at 3:15 am for 15 minutes, 6:00 am for 10 minutes, and 6:50 for 7 minutes.  I hope she found food to eat then.
She does not seem particularly concerned about food, that is, she is not making food begging calls to Alton.  She continues to take good care of her eggs.  So I’ll continue to watch and wait.




March 24 Not Much Food Last Night

Just when I thought Alton was doing better with his food deliveries, he really did a poor job.
Olivia left the box for about ten minutes shortly after 8 pm last night.  Then she waited for Alton to bring her some food.

I could hardly believe it as I reviewed last night’s video, but Alton did not show up at the nest box until 4:20 this morning.  And then he only brought a small winged insect.
Olivia finally jumped up to the doorway at 5 am.  After sitting there for just a minute, she flew out and quickly returned with a nice fat gecko. She gobbled it down and returned to brooding.

Over the next hour and a half, Alton returned to deliver two moths, two bugs, and one large grasshopper-like winged insect .

Not enough food and so I’m going to put out a supplemental rodent (purchased frozen from my local pet store) tonight.  I’ve put  two rodents on the large branch in the center of the bottom right camera.  They are white, so they are visible on the branch.  Hopefully Olivia will spy them from the doorway at dark and bring them home to eat.


March 23  Halfway To A Hatch

The first egg is sixteen days old today.  It is likely to hatch at around 31 days, so we are halfway to the first hatch.  Time does seem to move slowly doesn’t it?  Imagine being Olivia and spending nearly all 24 hours of your day and night sitting on eggs.

Alton did better last night with food deliveries.  Olivia left the box at 8 pm for ten minutes and then left again closer to 8:30 for about five minutes.  Shortly after she came back, Alton delivered a winged insect.   Then he finally got serious.  At 9 pm, 11:30 pm, 12:30 am, 2 am and 2:30 am, he delivered lizards.  Winged insects, spiders, caterpillars and moths provide only a small amount of nutrition.  Bugs (beetles, etc.) are better.  Vertebrates like lizards, snakes, rodents and birds provide the most nutrition.  I haven’t seen Alton bring in any rodents or birds, but he is bringing home geckos, green anoles and garden snakes.


He delivered two more bugs and a moth later.  Shortly after 7 am, Alton arrived (presumably with food).  Olivia heard him calling and she jumped to the inside perch.  I guess she startled Alton because he flew off.  She flew out too and came back just a moment later.  Perhaps she caught up with Alton and got that food.



March 22  The Wait Goes On

Olivia left the box as usual at 8 pm and returned about 20 minutes later.  Shortly before 9 pm Alton appeared with a 10-12 inch garden snake which Olivia ate right down. 

He took an hour to return and brought a single moth.  As usual, he called to announce his arrival but before he could jump to the inside perch, Olivia jumped up there.  She leaned forward and took the moth from Alton as he poked his head through the doorway.  He left immediately and she jumped to the doorway where she sat for a minute before returning to tend her eggs.

Between 10 pm and 6 am, Alton made ten additional deliveries at irregular intervals, some just a few minutes, one nearly three hours.  The food included six winged insects, two bugs, and two lizards. As daylight closed in, he made three deliveries between 6:20 and 6:40 am – two moths and one more bug.

Olivia left the box for ten minutes at 6:30 and again for three minutes shortly after 7 am.

One unusual thing I saw occurred at two minutes after midnight. Alton jumped to the inside perch with a moth for Olivia and she ignored him, continuing to brood her eggs.  She waited thirty seconds to get up and accept the moth he brought.  Was she satiated?  Was she tired of moths?  Who can say?


The temperatures continue to be warm.  The high yesterday afternoon was 87F and the overnight low this morning was 70F.  This is good weather for the eggs and Olivia.



March 21  Alton Delivers A Long Snake

Olivia is busy brooding her eggs and so she only left the box for fifteen minutes at dark and a few minutes at daybreak.  She depends on Alton to supply her with food.

It was 9:30 pm before he found the right prey, but then he delivered a snake that had to be at least 12 inches long. Olivia had her back turned when she accepted it but I think she ate it right away.

He delivered five smaller bugs or winged insects over the course of the next four hours.  Finally at 4 am he showed up with a fat green anole lizard which she gobbled right down.  He delivered two more small bugs over the next hour and a half. 

Shortly after 6 am, Olivia left the box for just a couple of minutes.  Perhaps it was to ask Alton for more food.  He showed up shortly and made three more deliveries in quick succession – a large winged insect, a bug and a large caterpillar.


 So the total was eight smaller bugs or winged insects, a large caterpillar, a large winged insect, a large green anole lizard and a 12 inch snake.  How much food does a 5 to 6 ounce bird need?



March 19 Everything Looks Good

Things are going well in the nest box.  The weather is warm (overnight low of 69F and high of 85F) so that helps Olivia keep the eggs warm.  She keeps her eggs tucked up under her and only gets up to stretch or roll the eggs.  She rolls the eggs so that the owlets develop normally.

She left the box at 8 pm on March 18 and stayed out for sixteen minutes, a luxury afforded to her by the warm temperature.  A few minutes after her return, Alton made the first of five deliveries over a thirty minute period – two moths, a spider, a winged insect and an unknown bug.  At 10 pm he delivered a caterpillar and at 11 pm he brought a lizard.

A few minutes after eating her lizard, Olivia left the box for just two minutes before returning to tend her eggs.   Between 1 and 2 am Alton delivered two more bugs and two moths.  At 2:30 am Olivia left the box for one minute. At 5 Alton delivered a small frog.  Twenty minutes later he delivered a bug.  While he still sat on the inside perch, Olivia jumped to the doorway and blocked him in.  This is the first time I have seen that.   He waited patiently while Olivia sat in the doorway for two minutes before flying out.  Once she left, he jumped to the doorway and sat for two minutes before he left. Olivia returned in a minute after that.


Between 6 and 7 am, Alton made his final deliveries of the night - two bugs and a lizard. Olivia left the box shortly after Alton made his final delivery and stayed out for twenty minutes, returning as day was breaking.  Seems like it was a good night with lots of food.



March 18 Overnight In the Nest

It was a warm St. Patrick’s Day in Austin.  The temperature was 83F at 5:30 pm.  At 7:42 pm, Olivia jumped to the doorway for five minutes and then down again for nine minutes.  She jumped back up again and spent nine minutes in the doorway looking around before leaving.  She stayed out for twelve minutes and returned to roll her eggs and brood.
Alton made his first food delivery at 9:51 pm, a lizard.  He brought another lizard at 10:15 pm.  He took a break then but shortly after midnight he began a series of six deliveries – two bugs, three moths and a large winged insect, all before 1 am.  Then he took another break.  At 2:18 he delivered another lizard.  At 4am he delivers another bug.

Alton made his final delivery at 5:30 with a large caterpillar.  As soon as he left the doorway, Olivia jumped to the door.  She stayed there a minute before leaving.  She returned in just three minutes.  The temperature at 6:30 was 69F.  At 7:07 Olivia left the box again and stayed out for twelve minutes.
She has spent the day quietly, periodically rolling her eggs, stretching, scratching and resettling herself over her eggs.  Still nothing that shows definitively that there is a fourth egg.  So, think of it like the days before sonograms, when a baby’s gender was a surprise until it was born, and a woman might not know she was pregnant with twins.  We’ll just have a surprise number of owlets.



March 17 Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Okay, the owl isn’t Irish, but we can all enjoy a celebration, especially on a Friday.
Still no clear view of a fourth egg, but I keep getting quick views that clearly show two eggs on one side, and one clear egg with maybe another egg behind it.  I just can’t say.  It could end up being a surprise.

It was warm last evening, 80F, and Olivia was ready to leave the box.  Starting at 7:40 pm she was up to the doorway and down to the floor three times before finally leaving at 8 pm on her fourth trip to the doorway. She stayed out for fifteen minutes and then returned to roll and brood her eggs.  Once she got settled, she began vocalizing and looking up toward the doorway.  Likely she was hungry and waiting on dinner.
Alton Brings A Moth

After another fifteen minutes, Alton began making deliveries.  He brought a large winged bug, a large moth or butterfly and a 6-8 inch garden snake within thirty minutes. 

After that things were quiet for nearly six hours.  Olivia spent the time rolling her eggs and changing position periodically but otherwise quietly brooding.

Handing Off A Garden Snake
Shortly before 5 am Alton delivered a bug, then made two more deliveries about 50 minutes apart – a lizard and another bug.  The low temperature, at about 6 am, was 68F.


Before dark last night, a supplemental mouse (purchased frozen at my local pet store) was placed in the tree below the nest box.  I want to make sure Olivia gets sufficient nutrition.  Finally, after 7 am this morning Alton landed on the tree branch next to the mouse and began calling to Olivia.  She jumped to the doorway then flew down, took the mouse and flew back to the box.  She ate for several minutes and then took the remains in her beak to the doorway.  She sat in the doorway holding it for five minutes before flying out.  I was surprised to see her leave because the night sky was already getting lighter. She came back three minutes later without it.  It was 7:22 am and she was in for the day. 



March 16   Are There Four Eggs?

 While I was reviewing video, I think I saw a fourth egg at about 2 am and again about 5 pm on 3/15.  But I’m not positive.  The 2 am timeframe is about right for laying the fourth egg, but Olivia is keeping them close under her.  At other times when she leaves, she often rolls them to the front wall where they are under the camera view.  I’ll have to adjust the floor camera view when the season is over, so she can’t hide the eggs from us.
Last night was warm – still 77F at 5:30 pm, and only down to 60F overnight.  Olivia left the box three times: once at sunset for twenty minutes and twice just before daybreak for about five minutes each time.
Alton delivered five lizards, a caterpillar and 3 crickets or other bugs during the night.  I love seeing him land on the front porch and then make his way inside.  Sometimes he jumps for the inside perch but falls to the floor instead.  I love listening to them hoot and call to each other when he brings food.

Olivia continues to roll her eggs periodically, stretch, scratch herself and settle down on her eggs.  It must be rather boring to sit on eggs for a month, but she is doing a fine job.  Hopefully eggs will begin to hatch in just over 3 weeks and then the fun will really begin.



March 15 In The Nest Box

Olivia left the box at 8 pm after spending 10 minutes in the doorway.  She returned in ten minutes with a small prey of some kind and consumed it.  The temperature was still a warm 74F as she settled down to brood her eggs.  She rolled her eggs periodically and stretched a bit, but still didn’t give a clear view of the eggs. 

Might Be a Fourth Egg

A little after 2 am I may have seen a fourth egg, but I’m not sure.  I saw three clearly, and what might be the edge of another under her, but I’m not sure.  I did not see any body posturing and panting like I saw with the first egg.  See the video of her delivering the first egg at:   .  She sure looks like a woman in labor.  I also observed the moments of the second and third egg deliveries.  The second was less intense but still very obvious.  The third egg passed even more easily.  And I could not locate any video that seemed to show Olivia passing a fourth egg.  So maybe I saw it and maybe it was just a leaf.


Alton made his first appearance at 2:30 and then waited another half hour to bring another morsel.    That’s all the video I got to review because my recorder malfunctioned for some reason.  I was watching video from early this morning and then it disappeared.  A view posted that Alton delivered food at 3:56, 5:20 and 5:30, so I know Olivia got at least 6 food items during the night.  That doesn’t seem like enough.  Let’s see what happens tonight. 


March 14  In the Nest Box

The high temperature on March 13 was 70F late in the day.  Olivia brooded all day and jumped to the doorway around 7:45 pm, leaving the box at 8:00 pm for about twenty minutes.

About twenty minutes after that Alton flew in with a lizard for Olivia.  He delivered additional winged insects around 9:00 and 9:30.  Olivia continued to brood until midnight when she left the box for about five minutes.  By this time the temperature had dropped to 50F.

Shortly after midnight, Alton began delivering a series of bugs.  He delivered seven in about an hour and fifteen minutes. 

Olivia brooded her eggs with occasional stretches and rolling of eggs.  Her brood patch is very obvious now.  Look for a dark patch on her chest.  It is an area of bare skin to snuggle against her eggs to keep them warm. The temperature was 43F at 6:30 am.

We didn’t see Alton again until 6:45 in the morning when he delivered a moth, and shortly afterward, a caterpillar. Olivia left the box for under two minutes around 7:30 am.


She has stayed on her eggs all day today.  We are hoping she will lay another egg today or tomorrow.



March 13 Last Night In The Nest Box

Olivia left the box at dark and stayed out about 2 hours and 15 minutes. The temperature in the box was 52F. It is likely she did some hunting while she was out.  She rolled and brooded her eggs when she returned. 

Alton delivered a bug around 11:15 pm and left the box.  Olivia jumped to the doorway where she apparently spotted a bug.  She left the box and returned to the floor in under ten seconds with a bug in her mouth.   She ate it and returned to brooding.

Alton showed what a good provider he can be.  Beginning at about 11:40 pm he made thirteen food deliveries in about 3 hours and 15 minutes.  They consisted of bugs, grubs or caterpillars and a spider.  He made his last delivery before 3:00 am.

Around 3:45 am Olivia jumped to the perch for a few minutes then to the doorway and left for about fifteen minutes before returning to brood. 

At about 6:45 am Olivia’s most interesting activity of the night occurred.  She left the box and returned in about thirty minutes with a bird.  Less than a minute later she left the box with the bird.  She stayed out for about eight minutes before returning without the bird.  Did she give it to Alton?  It seems likely but we’ll never know.


Nesting is proceeding as expected.  Let’s see if we get another egg in a day or two.




March 12 – Activities Overnight March 11/12

The temperature was colder last night, down to about 48F, so Olivia spent more time in the box keeping her eggs warm.  There was also intermittent rain beginning around midnight.  Ms. Owl laid her third egg just before 6:00 this morning.  She revealed it around 6:30 when Alton brought her a bite of food

Our time changed from central standard time to central daylight time, so moved the clock forward an hour at 2:00 this morning.

Here’s what happened in the box last night.

March 10,2017
18:23:42
Olivia
up to doorway
18:53:53
Olivia
leaves the box
19:30:00
temp is 75F
19:46:00
Olivia
enters box with a 8 inch snake, drops to floor (turned back, could not see if eaten or cached)
19:51:56
Olivia
up to perch
19:52:07
Olivia
to doorway
20:17:21
Olivia
jumps from doorway to floor as Alton lands on outside perch with food. He flies off without delivering
20:22:29
Olivia
to perch and door
21:08:54
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard, hands it off to O in the doorway and flies away, O drops to floor and consumes lizard
21:12:08
Olivia
up to perch, then doorway
22:02:30
Alton
flies to outside perch with unknown food, hands it off to O in the doorway and flies away, O drops to floor. Back is turned so unknown if she consumes or caches
22:17:15
Olivia
up to perch
22:17:45
Olivia
to doorway
22:54:38
Olivia
drops to floor
23:12:12
Olivia
up to perch
23:12:26
Olivia
to doorway
March 11, 1017
0:09:50
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard, hands it off to O in the doorway.  A stays on perch. O drops to floor and consumes lizard.
0:10:10
Olivia
Alton flies away. 
0:13:05
Olivia
up to perch then doorway
1:48:55
Olivia
leaves the box
5:00:00
temp is 66F
6:34:10
Olivia
returns to box
18:09:28
Olivia
spent the day on the floor, now up to perch then doorway
18:44:10
Olivia
leaves the box
19:30:00
temperature is 67F
19:50:32
Olivia
enters with a spider, drops to floor and consumes it
19:55:43
Olivia
up to perch and then doorway
20:29:58
Olivia
backs out of doorway and drops to floor as A flies to outside perch
20:30:08
Alton
enters the box, hangs on the wall and gives O a spider, then climbs back to doorway
20:30:32
Alton
leaves the box
20:35:03
Olivia
up to perch then doorway
20:58:53
Olivia
leaves the box
20:59:22
Olivia
flies in with a lizard, drops to floor, consumes
21:11:50
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard
21:12:16
Alton
enters box, jumps to perch with winged bug, leans down and gives to O, she consumes
21:12:31
Alton
to doorway
21:12:51
Alton
leaves the box
22:15:04
Alton
flies to outside perch with bug
22:15:21
Alton
enters, jumps to perch, leans down and gives to O, she consumes
22:15:31
Alton
jumps to doorway
22:15:58
Alton
leaves the box; O stays on the floor
22:44:33
Olivia
up to perch and doorway
23:31:36
Olivia
drops to floor
0:27:54
Olivia
up to perch and door
1:15:00
temp is down to 57 and its been raining since midnight
1:23:19
Olivia
drops to floor
1:27:47
Olivia
up to perch and doorway
2:00:00
time change from CST to CDT
3:04:05
Olivia
leaves the box
3:36:46
Olivia
enters and drops to floor with a small frog she eats
5:30:44
Alton
lands on outside perch
5:31:05
Alton
jumps to inside perch with bug, leans down and gives to O (on floor)
5:31:19
Alton
to doorway
5:32:17
Alton
leaves the box
5:57:00
Olivia
lays the third egg of the season
6:25:48
Olivia
first show of 3rd egg
6:31:13
Alton
lands on outside perch
6:31:42
Alton
jumps to inside perch with grub leans down and gives to O (on floor)
7:31:42
Alton
jumps to inside perch with grub leans down and gives to O (on floor)
7:45:22
Olivia
jumps to perch and then doorway
7:45:25
Olivia
leaves the box
8:02:45
Olivia
flies in, drops to floor
8:03:39
Alton
flies directly in, hangs inside doorway with snake, gives to O, then sits in doorway
8:03:56
Alton
leaves the box




March 11 – Last Night's Activities in the Nest Box 

March 10,2017
18:23:42
Olivia
up to doorway
18:53:53
Olivia
leaves the box
19:30:00
temp is 75F
19:46:00
Olivia
enters box with a 8 inch snake, drops to floor (turned back, could not see if eaten or cached)
19:51:56
Olivia
up to perch
19:52:07
Olivia
to doorway
20:17:21
Olivia
jumps from doorway to floor as Alton lands on outside perch with food. He flies off without delivering
20:22:29
Olivia
to perch and door
21:08:54
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard, hands it off to O in the doorway and flies away, O drops to floor and consumes lizard
21:12:08
Olivia
up to perch, then doorway
22:02:30
Alton
flies to outside perch with unknown food, hands it off to O in the doorway and flies away, O drops to floor. Back is turned so unknown if she consumes or caches
22:17:15
Olivia
up to perch
22:17:45
Olivia
to doorway
22:54:38
Olivia
drops to floor
23:12:12
Olivia
up to perch
23:12:26
Olivia
to doorway
March 11, 1017
0:09:50
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard, hands it off to O in the doorway.  A stays on perch. O drops to floor and consumes lizard.
0:10:10
Olivia
Alton flies away. 
0:13:05
Olivia
up to perch then doorway
1:48:55
Olivia
leaves the box
5:00:00
temp is 66F
6:34:10
Olivia
returns to box



March 9/10 in the Nest Box

Everything looks good in the Jollyville Owl House.  Olivia is protecting her eggs by keeping them between her legs.  When she really broods them she lies down over them so she looks quite flat on the bottom of the box.  Alton is bringing food.  A few small insects and a lot of lizards.  He seems very happy with the new front porch I added recently. It gives him a place to land before jumping into the box.

When will the eggs hatch?

Screech owl eggs usually take 30 – 31 days to hatch.  So the first egg might hatch around April 7.  I’ve seen data that local eggs have hatched between 26 and 33 days.  A first egg may take longer than average and a last egg may take less time.  That is because the mama owl may not brood the first egg right away, waiting for a second egg to begin brooding.   For example, Olivia laid her first egg early on March 7.  She protected it and stood over it, but I did not see her assume a typical brooding posture (lying over the eggs) until the evening of March 9 after she laid the second egg.  The last egg gets the benefit of immediate brooding, so may hatch in fewer days than average.


Overnight Activity Report Night of March 9 / Morning of March 10


Date
Time
Owl
Activity
March 9, 2017
17:38:58
Olivia
lays the second egg of the season
18:05:31
Olivia
first view of 2 eggs
18:18:17
Olivia
to doorway
18:50:11
Olivia
leaves the box
19:14:52
Olivia
enters box, drops to floor
19:44:52
Alton
flies in with small lizard to perch, bends down to give to O
19:45:05
Alton
to doorway
19:45:22
Olivia
up to perch
19:45:33
Olivia
pushed A out of the doorway and sits in the door
19:47:27
Olivia
leaves the box
19:53:23
Olivia
enters box, drops to floor, begins brooding
22:14:57
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard
22:15:07
Alton
moves to inside perch still with lizard
22:15:15
Alton
bends down and gives O the lizard
22:15:55
Alton
to doorway
22:18:01
Alton
leaves the box
22:48:23
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard
22:48:27
Alton
drops to floor and gives lizard to O
22:48:47
Alton
jumps to doorway
22:48:47
Olivia
caches the lizard
22:49:00
Alton
leaves the box
23:32:28
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard
23:33:00
Alton
moves to inside perch, bends down and gives lizard to O
23:33:14
Alton
to doorway
23:33:50
Alton
leaves the box
23:34:03
Olivia
up to perch with lizard
23:34:09
Olivia
to doorway
22:38:16
Olivia
drops to floor, still holding lizard, caches it
23:41:16
Olivia
jumps to perch, with a lizard in her beak
23:41:20
Olivia
to doorway, still holding lizard
March 10, 2017
0:07:40
Olivia
drops to floor, still holding lizard, caches it
0:58:39
Olivia
picks up cached lizard
0:59:13
Olivia
jumps to perch, with a lizard in her beak
1:11:56
Olivia
drops to floor, still holding lizard, caches it
1:47:08
Olivia
jumps to perch, with a lizard in her beak
1:47:13
Olivia
to doorway, still holding lizard
1:59:38
Olivia
flies out with lizard still in mouth
3:14:17
Olivia
flies in with lizard to floor
3:14:38
Olivia
consumes the lizard, then broods
4:10:15
Olivia
up to perch
4:10:35
Olivia
to doorway
4:47:27
Olivia
leaves the box
4:57:45
Alton
flies in sits on perch with insect (O is out)
4:58:06
Alton
jumps to doorway with insect
4:58:23
Alton
leaves the box
5:00:00
temperature is 64F
5:29:55
Olivia
flies in to floor with lizard
5:30:13
Olivia
consumes the lizard, rolls eggs, stits beside them
5:55:05
Olivia
up to perch, then door
5:55:12
Olivia
leaves the box
6:25:38
Olivia
flies in and drops to floor
6:28:42
Olivia
up to perch and doorway with a lizard
6:29:13
Olivia
drops to floor, still holding lizard, caches it



March 8/9 Nighttime Activity in the Nest Box


Here is a list of activity in the nest box for the night of March 8 / Morning of March 9.

Date
Time
Owl
Activity


March 8, 2017
18:29:50
Olivia
to doorway
18:48:54
Olivia
leaves the box
19:40:00
Olivia
returns with moth, drops to floor
19:42:13
Olivia
up to perch
19:42:16
Olivia
to doorway
19:47:14
Alton
flies to outside perch, gives unknown small food to O in doorway, stays on outside perch
19:47:22
Alton
flies away (O stays in doorway)
19:57:50
Alton
flies to outside perch, gives lizard to O in doorway, flies away immediately
19:57:58
Olivia
drops to floor then back to doorway, still holding lizard in mouth, eats lizard and stays in doorway
20:12:56
Olivia
drops to floor and broods
20:22:13
Alton
flies to outside perch with lizard
20:22:22
Alton
drops to floor and gives lizard to O
20:22:30
Alton
up to perch
20:22:34
Alton
to doorway
20:24:17
Alton
flies away (O stays on floor)
20:28:44
Olivia
to doorway
21:38:10
Olivia
drops to floor
22:29:43
Olivia
up to perch
22:29:53
Olivia
to doorway
23:01:30
Olivia
to floor and broods
23:09:40
Olivia
up to perch
23:09:50
Olivia
to doorway
23:28:43
Olivia
leaves the box
March 9, 2017
0:02:15
Olivia
enters with a lizard, drops to floor
0:02:30
Olivia
consumes the lizard, then broods
0:17:34
Olivia
up to perch
0:17:50
Olivia
to doorway
0:18:48
Alton
visible in Cam 4 flying from right side into small branches at end of large limb
0:36:00
Olivia
flies away
3:57:58
Olivia
enters and drops to floor
4:02:30
Olivia
up to perch
4:02:35
Olivia
to doorway
4:09:33
Olivia
leaves the box
4:09:51
Olivia
flies in with lizard to floor
4:10:10
Olivia
consumes the lizard, then broods
4:13:54
Olivia
up to perch
4:14:04
Olivia
to doorway
5:09:00
Olivia
leaves the box
5:33:47
Olivia
enters with lizard, drops to floor
5:34:00
Olivia
jumps back to doorway still with lizard in mouth
5:34:50
Olivia
flies out with lizard still in mouth
5:36:30
Olivia
enters box
5:56:41
Olivia
up to perch and doorway
5:58:42
Olivia
leaves the box
6:27:01
Olivia
enters box, drops to floor
6:28:59
Olivia
to perch and door
6:31:07
Olivia
drops to floor, brooding, stays in box for the day
6:35:10
Olivia
up to perch and doorway
6:52:45
Olivia
down to floor


March 7 - We Have An Egg!

Ms. Owl, also known as Olivia, laid her first egg of the season on March 7 at 05:11:00. 

See the video of her laying the egg at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCZCJBVM5LA  

and also the video of her and Mr. Owl, also known as Alton, admiring their new egg:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh4pzc_4e54

 We are sad to announce that the injured female screech owl died from an infection. She died on March 7, the same day Ms. Owl laid her first egg.  The rehabber said she had remarkable spirit - requiring him to use gloves to handle her and hooting along with the other owls in the evenings.  She died on March 7, the same day Ms. Owl laid her first egg.  So the circle of life goes on.

Here is a list of activity in the box for the night of March 7 / morning of March 8.

Date
Time
Owl
Activity
March 7, 2017
5:11:00
Olivia
lays the first egg of the season
18:55:56
Olivia
leaves the box
19:26:31
Olivia
enters and rolls the egg
19:26:53
Alton
enters with a bug for O. They inspect the egg together. Much cooing
19:30:15
Alton
up to perch
19:31:22
Alton
leaves the box
19:31:50
Olivia
up to perch
19:31:54
Olivia
to doorway
19:36:07
Olivia
leaves the box
19:37:21
Olivia
enters and rolls the egg
19:47:11
Olivia
to doorway
20:19:36
Olivia
leaves the box
20:27:37
Olivia
enters with a lizard
20:27:58
Olivia
consumes the lizard, then broods
23:18:49
Olivia
up to perch
23:18:56
Olivia
to doorway
23:32:08
Olivia
leaves the box
23:50:43
Olivia
enters and broods
23:58:08
Olivia
up to perch
23:58:11
Olivia
to doorway
March 8, 2017
0:21:19
Olivia
down to floor
0:44:09
Olivia
up to perch
0:44:13
Olivia
to doorway
0:56:07
Olivia
leaves the box
1:29:43
Olivia
enters and broods
1:40:36
Olivia
up to perch
1:40:43
Olivia
to doorway
1:49:50
Olivia
leaves the box
2:14:14
Olivia
enters with lizard, consumes it and broods
3:06:23
Olivia
up to perch
3:06:32
Olivia
to doorway
4:19:21
Olivia
drops to floor
4:20:11
Alton
arrives with a grub and perches
4:20:20
Alton
leans down from perch and gives grub to Olivia
4:20:32
Alton
to doorway
4:21:16
Alton
leaves the box
4:28:05
Alton
on front porch
4:28:15
Alton
enters with a bug, drops to floor and gives to Olivia
4:29:30
Alton
to doorway
4:30:20
Alton
leaves the box
4:30:40
Olivia
up to perch
4:30:44
Olivia
to doorway
5:01:20
Olivia
leaves the box
5:23:48
Olivia
enters to floor, rummages around
5:24:15
Olivia
picks up cached mouse, turns her back and eats, then broods
6:07:35
Alton
enters with a bug
6:07:58
Alton
drops to floor
6:08:05
Alton
to doorway
6:08:23
Alton
leaves the box
6:08:30
Olivia
to doorway
6:09:27
Olivia
leaves the box
6:29:00
Olivia
enters the box and stays on the floor for the day

High Hopes for a Good Nesting Season


Ms. Owl is eager to nest this year.   She has been vocalizing a call she uses to attract her mate.  He has responded and visited the nest several times, albeit very briefly.

She is also making distinct nesting actions.  She lies down on her belly and uses her belly and feet to scratch around in the leaves on the floor.  What’s that about? She’s preparing her nest.

Owls nest in natural cavities or nest boxes and don’t bring in any nesting materials themselves.  They make do with whatever is in the cavity/box they choose.  Still, they want to flatten the materials and create a depression to contain their eggs.   

Once an egg is laid, mom carefully turns it periodically.  An egg that isn’t turned won’t develop.  A good nest space has to have some depth so the eggs can be turned without risk of them rolling out.

Interestingly, owl eggs are rounded at both ends. Compare that to chicken eggs, which are more pointed at one end.

If chicken eggs roll, they go in a kind of circle and chances are they will spin back into the nest.  But owl eggs could roll right out. So instinct is to make sure the bottom has a depression to keep the eggs in.  Not a problem in a nest box, but instinct is instinct. 

By the way, that nest-making behavior is strictly female behavior in screech owls.  The males don’t do it.  But, I’ve been watching a great horned owl camera where the male has spent considerable time creating a depression in the planter box they’ve selected for nesting.  So different kinds of owls have different behaviors.

You can catch videos of both Mr. and Ms. Owl vocalizing and Ms. Owl preparing her nest on the Jollyville Owl YouTube channel.

When you watch, you’ll see that Mr. Owl is not as comfortable in the box as Ms. Owl.  He flies in a bit clumsily, looks a little nervous and will only stay for a moment. 

Where does Mr. Owl live? He may live in a nearby neighbor’s owl box that is smaller and not as deep. That box may be too close for a competing owl to live in but there is often an owl in it.  Screech owls usually have a secondary nest site picked out in case something happens to the first one.  Generally it is the male’s job to defend potential sites, so occupying the other box would accomplish that.

It’s very early for nesting.  Locally, screech owls usually lay eggs around the third week in March.  We’ll see what happens.  She seems to be looking forward to it.  And so am I.

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