Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sitting and waiting for the future...

I took some time on Saturday to re-visit with Ma and Pa owl.. even though I read that Mom and Dad take turns sitting on the nest, I think this might be her.. The last few times, I saw her, only her head was visible...but this time she seems to be sitting higher in the nest! There were people walking along the paths below her but she seemed quite content with just soaking up the sun. I read that incubation takes a month and I know the nesting process has been on going for several weeks...so I'll just keep checking back when I'm in the neighborhood. Maybe I will catch a glimpse of a owlet or two !!I only had a few hours to devote to seeing the owls..so I moved on to the long-eared owls.. which is a short drive from the horned owls. The leos seem to have selected one tree as their favorite..which is now a little easier for me to find. ( I'm not the best at finding "that one" pine tree in the middle of a whole field of them, the last time I visited, I felt like I walked miles b/f stumbling onto their roosting tree..and I only found it b/c of all the birdee do do on the ground!!) If you click on the picture you can see there are three in this picture. All five were still together but I have heard they will be leaving in April as they migrate north for the summer.
They are just so darn cute with those big tufts of hair that stick up from their heads!!
Last but not least..its on to the Screech Owls who are at the local nature center. I was fortunate this time to catch the grey-phase owl sleeping in the entrance to the wood duck house. You can see how small he is...his little feet are sitting on the rim of the entrance hole.
He even opened his eyes for this shot!
I love his markings, the facial disks are dusty white with mottled brown and then bordered in black..his eyes were a funky yellow white.

I was a little disappointed not to see the red-phased screech owl. ( Sorry Barb, I tried ) I did ask one of the park employees and was told that she is in the nest box sitting on eggs. I was also told that there is no nest building in the box. Her eggs would have been laid on the wood floor of the box... but when these particular boxes had been cleaned, sawdust had been put in the box for future squatters. And what about Dad, well he apparently spends his days sleeping at the front door and his nights feeding her and, like the great horned owl, they tend to mate for life... ahhhh shucks ..ain't that sweet!! ;-)

26 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Friend, Glad you were able to get out and get some great pictures today, Tina. Those owls are just gorgeous.

Have a great day tomorrow.
Hugs,
Betsy

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Very interesting pictures,it is special to several owls in one general area.
Blessings,Ruth

Shellmo said...

So many wonderful owl photos - you have the magic touch!!!

T and S said...

Cool series Tina. This should have been an amazing sighting.

Gail said...

Owls are a sight so few of us get to really see. An almost silent swoosh of wings in the night, a distant hoot or screech, but you have delivered a treasure with these pictures. Thank you.

Abe said...

Yes, that is right, they need a clean floor to lay eggs on. I just had to clean out the floor of my little box because the squirrels put dry leaves and stems of grass in there trying to make their own nest. Either that or practicing making one.

fishing guy said...

Tina: I must say those are neat captures of the owls. I never see them in the wild.
I am getting out but sometimes it makes me really tired.

Tina said...

Betsy.
Yes, everyone needs to get out for a little while!! Such a big lift to one's day!

Ruth, very special, indeed!!

Shelley, Nah, no magic touch just good ears to hear others talk about where they might be!! lol

T and S, this was a fun sighting..just sitting and waiting for me..lol

Gail, a treasure for sure..one that I will remember as being my intro to owls!!

FG, Glad you are getting out...keep walking and watching those birds!!

George said...

These are all great pictures, Tina. I don't recall seeing a picture of such a small grey-phase owl. I didn't realize they were so small.

Chris said...

Excellent Tina. Is the box big enough for this guy????
So cool you can keep an eye on it

Modesto Viegas said...

Interesting bird photoblog!
Regards

NCmountainwoman said...

Looks like you had a great owl day. I hope you will be able to photographs the owlets. I never see owls around here, but I hear them so I know they are there.

jalynn01 said...

I want to call this post an 'owling'...haha I loved all your pix. Owls are so interesting and when you can get the shot they are just awesome. Great Job Tina!

Tina said...

George, you and me both! When I first saw him in the entrance hole to the box I thought he was just sticking out his head..lol was I shocked when I learned all of him was perched in the nest hole!!

Chris, Yes that is a hoot!! that they would choose a wood duck house!!

Modesto, Thank you!!

Helen, Here's hoping you see one soon..they are an amazing creature! I can see why everyone loves them so much!!

Jane, That's a great title!! Wish I would have thought of that..lol.and u are so right, they are pretty awesome!

Neal said...

I love owls. Thanks for sharing these pictures. I need to come and visit you so you can show me all these wonderful places that you get all the great pictures. :)

Tina said...

Neal,
Anytime..and you can share with me where in the islands you took all those beautiful flower pictures! lol

Bird Girl said...

Hi Tina - this is such an exciting post!!! I so wish I was with you on your owl hunt - wow - you are so lucky to be able to see these guys! Don't worry you'll get that picture!
By the way - you couldn't have picked a more apt title - as 'waiting for the future' is what you'll be doing - but just think how exciting it will be to see those BABIES popping up!!! Great photos!

Marsha said...

I am so happy you took the time to check up on the owls and show them here for us. I really love these shots but even though they are the most common the little screech owls are my favorite. They are so cute peaking out of the box!

Great photos!

Tina said...

Barb,
Come on down!! I have been doing a lot of reading about the great horned owl and am sooooo hoping to see her little ones..walking around the branches..as I read they don't fly for the first three weeks or so.

Eve said...

You are so lucky to get to see these guys Tina!!

Tina said...

Marsha,
I can definitely see why the little owls are your fav..they are so tiny but seeing what they take down for eats..pretty deadly also!!

Tina said...

Eve, I know I am lucky..thanks for stopping by!

dAwN said...

Tina,
I am so jealous! I love owls and hardly ever get to see them. Thanks for posting all those photos.
That screech is so tiny and adorable..makes me want one as a pet..I guess I will just settle for a plush screech owl toy!

Leedra said...

Amazing post. I clicked to enlarge, and the owls just blend in with all the trees. I am going to have to start looking closer.

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Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Oooooo! Love the cute screech owl pictures! That little owl was looking right at you! I think you have some sort of quality in you that attracts birds of prey. Either that or you're carrying a peanut butter coated squirrel around with you again. :-)

HANNIBAL said...

Awww, you owl post was awesome! 3 owls in a day! Lucky lucky girl!

would like to hear your thoughts..