A few hours after last week’s post went live, I got my first glimpse of the fledgling owl peeking out of the owl box. I went to bed wondering when it might leave its home for the first time. I didn’t have long to wonder.
I woke up the next morning, said a quick prayer for the fledgling to be safe, and got out of bed to start my day. As soon as I saw the silhouette against the screen, I knew our owlet had left home.
It was still mostly dark outside, but I could see the shape flutter up and down the screen and finally hop along the ground at the base of our house. Shortly afterward, it hopped over into some bushes by our back fence. That’s when the drama began.
A California scrub-jay, aka “the fiend”
A California scrub-jay hovered around the fence, calling in shrill complaint, announcing the presence of the baby owl. Then I saw it: the neighbor’s cat, still as ice on the most frozen winter day, stalking the owlet from atop the fence. It was more than I could stand. I went outside and chased the cat back into its own yard. The jay flew away. Continue reading →
Our owls came back to nest this year, and my husband and I have enjoyed seeing the increased activity around the owl box in the past few weeks. The parent owls showed themselves more during the daytime this year and even did a few too many fly-bys of my head when I was outside in the evenings.
Mamma or daddy owl (a western screech-owl) on high alert. Its markings are beautiful.
Others nearby haven’t been as thrilled with the owls nesting in our bird box. Somewhere close to the box is a hummingbird nest, along with the nest of another sort of bird—perhaps a black phoebe (I’m not sure about the identification of that one). There are other tiny birds in the area, too, and I wonder if they have a nest somewhere in those trees, too.
As the mother owl left the nest more frequently, the other birds flitted around the trees by the box, pitching a frenzied “Go away!” fit. Continue reading →