Screech Owl nestbox in Hemlock

Jamie Acker biowler1 at juno.com
Thu Mar 28 17:42:34 PST 2002


Chris,
I have a pair of WESTERN SCREECH-OWLs (WESO) that have nested behind my
house for the past two years. I expect them to be on eggs in about two
weeks. They have been calling nightly now for the past two weeks. I
sleep with the window open so I can enjoy them.

I have four boxes up. They have yet to use the same box twice.

I also have BARRED OWLs (BDOW) in the neighborhood. The female is radio
tagged and is on eggs about a quarter mile from here. She shows up on
occassion in my backyard (where she has been caught twice). Last summer
one morning I was awakened by the "chuck" calls of agitated WESO who had
recently fledged young in the area. I went out, and heard a single
"WHOOO" call from an irate BDOW. That evening, I was missing one of the
youngsters.

WESO are a difficult bird to find on the Island now. I know of two pairs
only, whereas several years ago, they were relatively easily found. The
BDOW population has gone up to 8 pairs.

I have been feeding the WESO behind my house for the past three years on
feeder mice. Expensive, but I enjoy their presence.

What attracted them here initially was the nest boxes, I think. I didn't
start feeding them until the young were hatched. I have a small (8 acre)
woodlot behind me. Not large enough to support a large owl, but large
enough to be attractive to a small owl. Five years ago I had a Northern
Saw-whet Owl (NSWO) nest in an old Northern Flicker cavity.
The NSWO also had boxes to choose from,including one 15 feet lower on the
same tree that it nested in.

Good Luck!
Jamie Acker
Bainbridge Island,WA
Biowler1 at juno.com


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