There Be Owls!

For the fifth consecutive year, we have an Eastern Screech-OwlMegascops asio, couple who courted and are raising a family in the nest box and soon, beyond.

I’ve spied Mama Owl in the box for some weeks now

and most days, Daddy Owl perches in a nearby Mountain Laurel, Sophora secundiflora.

For the last few days, Mama perched on a branch slightly above the nest house, keeping a watchful eye on me,

and this cheeky fellow.

Based on observance of past years, the owlets have grown too large for Mom to stay in the next box full-time, so she’s left the box, but stays very close.  While I haven’t seen any shy, fuzzy grey heads popping up in the hole or flashes of feathers as they move about, I should soon.  I suspect that within then next 10 days, the owlets will leave the nest box, hang out in the tree for a few days learning to fly, hunt and do other owl stuff.

It’s thrilling to observe these beautiful and compelling birds.