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Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:52 pm
by Tom Wells
About a month or more ago I noticed the bird house I put up six+ years ago had an owl's face looking outward. Talk about surprise!

We have been watching for a tenant for years without seeing anything. Lots of critters stuck their heads into it, but didn't go in - these included Red Bellied woodpeckers, squirrels, Carolina wrens and others.

Then, during a noisy lawn mowing, Rosie appears. I immediately named her Nosy Rosie, because she stuck her head out when there was something going on in the back yard, and continues to do so. She has supervised mowing, a complete renovation of the back part of the yard where the ditch destroyers did their worst and the excavation of a soon-to-be pond where we plan to put small fish along with a fountain.

By now she likely has chicks - Eastern Screech Owls can have one to eight chicks - because they hatch after about a month. She's now been there more than a month; we guess six weeks. It would be nice to see the chicks but so far they are probably too small to get to the hole on the front of the box. We also think that's why Rosie spends much of her day peering out instead of sitting on the eggs - hatching changed her behavior, we think.

Enough verbiage. Here's Rosie:
Rosie1.jpg (2.78 MiB) Viewed 1069 times
And here's Kay taking her picture:
K&Rosie.jpg (944.53 KiB) Viewed 1069 times
The box is at the very upper left corner of the second picture just above the CH1 label. The almost nonexistent bump at the top right of the box is Rosie. The hole in the box is about three inches in diameter, so when you look at Rosie's picture you can see her toes at the bottom - that's the whole owl!

If we see chicks we'll try to get a picture of them to post. Stay tuned.


PS: When your car is in the paint shop you are more easily amused...

Re: Rosie

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:36 pm
by pops
WOW! pretty cool. we have a couple owls here in Jax Bch by the intercoastal waterway but they are much taller

Re: Rosie

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:32 am
by Tom Wells
Here's today's Rosie update as written by Kay:
The adventures of Rosie - continued. We have not seen the little owl for several days, but did observe one or the other of the pair entering the nest box after dusk. That changed abruptly this morning when Tom, going outside to investigate a Blue Jay alarm call, found a five-foot-plus Eastern Rat Snake in the bushes below the nest box! He yelled at me to get the camera, and then looked around for something to persuade the snake to go elsewhere. In the meantime, Rosie has poked her head out of the box, glaring at the snake. She then moved to the top of the shed for a better view.

Finding a pole, Tom was trying to lift the snake out of the bushes when the owl took off, hit the snake's head less than two feet from Tom, and retreated to the nearby roof, where she continued to glare at the predator, her ears folded back. The snake vanished (literally) into a large oak tree trunk, and Rosie flew into a palm tree. We assume it was all Rosie since she came from the nest box. We don't know where the male was in all of the chaos.

This shot was taken with a fogged-up lens from bringing my camera from the air-conditioning out into the humidity. I "dehazed" the photo in post-processing as much as possible.
Rosie-roof.jpeg (1.41 MiB) Viewed 937 times

Re: Rosie

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:55 am
by Tom Wells
More news: Rosie has at least two chicks. Kay got this picture Sunday night:
RosiesTwins.jpeg (1.03 MiB) Viewed 869 times

Re: Rosie

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:28 am
by Tom Wells
Here's what is likely the final update on Rosie from Kay. Sad.
A sad report -- almost feel as if I should wear a black arm band. Rosie and her brood have vanished -- don't know what happened -- fear it was probably a raccoon. I would love to think the owlets fledged, but they were too young for that. We last saw them Sunday night, and nothing since then. We checked the nest box, and no response. I am glad I have other things to keep me busy for a while, don't want to think about the "empty nest syndrome." Nature can definitely be "red in tooth and claw" sometimes.