The owls are back . . . at least that’s the report we’re getting from a lot of our customers. If you have already been watching owls, you know how much fun is in store in the coming months as they lay their eggs, and then the young hatch and, then the parents bring in all those neat little tidbits of food . . . from moths and worms, to birds, mice, and rats. What a show!
If you don’t think you know enough to have owls in the backyard, think again. It may simply be because they don’t have a place for them to stay. You will be surprised at how quickly a pair will move in if you’ll take the time to mount an owl house.
Screech owls, Barn owls, Barred owls, Saw-whet owls and a variety of other owls are found in every state in the union, and many are surprisingly urban. Several years ago one of our customers sent in a picture of a barn owl house attached to the side of a building facing out onto an alley, with a dumpster right below it.
As an added bonus, some of the hawks, such as kestrels,will take up residence, and, of course, the squirrels are also sure to stop by.
For years I’ve watched “my” Screech owls via a Birdhouse Spy Camera mounted in the inside upper corner of the nest box. The box is only 10-15 feet off our back patio. From that vantage point, however, all we see much of the time is the back of the parents’ head. The only time we get a full view of the chicks is when the parents are out hunting.
So, I’ve tried mounting the camera at various positions, with varied results, along the side and the front of the box. Ultimately, I found that high up, on the front edge of the box gives the best view, especially when it comes to feeding time. I also tried a camera at the bottom, front of the box. At this location I did get some spectacular, up close, in your face views of the baby owls eating, but most of the time, someone was sitting nearly on top of the camera, and so the view was only of out of focus feathers. But then again, there were some really spectacular scenes, as you’ll see in the video below. Read the rest of this entry »